The City of St. Paul (pop. 2,290) is home to the Howard County Medical Center (HCMC), a 16 bed Critical Access Hospital and rural health clinic. The Center had outgrown their service area and needed to expand in order to eliminate overcrowding and to allow concentration and attention to be on their Medicare population.
The City of St. Paul came to Rural Development for assistance through the Rural Economic Development Grant program in order to obtain zero percent financing for an additional pod.
In the past year, HCMC had joined an accountable care organization that concentrates efforts and attention on the Medicare population. With the constant increase in patients, the existing pods in the clinic for patients and providers were becoming overcrowded. An additional pod was needed in order to accommodate the new focus. The two physicians to come onto the HCMC staff were going to be able to expand wound care services and deliver obstetric services to patients allowing for more patient privacy. The hospital will also be able to expand on its current uses of telehealth by having additional services to offer with the new physicians being located at HCMC.
“The goal of Howard County Medical Center is to offer access to care in the outpatient setting. We have a mission of quality, efficient healthcare to all,” Chief Executive Officer Arlan Johnson said.
Completed in the fall of 2018, HCMC started bringing in patients to the new pod D for services under one of the new physicians. As of today, HCMC has added two new physicians and two new staff members and sees an increased number of patients.