Rainy Lake Medical Center (RLMC) officials are thrilled to announce the organization’s Board of Trustees have given the green light to move forward with constructing a new hospital and campus.
The decision is the result of a master facility plan that generated input from RLMC staff, leaders and executives to move forward with a new building.
“This marks an exceptionally exciting time for us,” said Robert Pastor, RLMC CEO. “This opportunity sets the stage for a very bright future for our organization and delivering care to Borderland.”
The next critical steps involve commencing the design phase in collaboration with RLMC’s partners at River Valley Architects and Miron Construction, and formally applying for low interest USDA funding. Provided everything goes as planned, groundbreaking and construction are slated to begin in the spring of 2025.
“We are committed to providing accessible, high-quality healthcare to our community and surrounding area,” Pastor said. “We don’t want our patients and their families traveling outside of the community for care. We’re growing services and attracting new providers to give our patients the exceptional care they need and deserve right here at home.”
Projected to be about 96,000 square feet, the new facility will be located on the 50 acres of property RLMC purchased about a year ago on Highway 11 east along Rainy River. Construction of the hospital and clinic campus will occupy 20 acres of the parcel. The preliminary design includes walking trails around the campus connecting to the bike trail on the highway. Potential future phases of the project for the remaining 30 acres could include housing and commercial opportunities.
Pastor said goals of the new facility are to bring new services and providers to the organization and to continue delivering quality healthcare to International Falls and surrounding communities for years to come.
While the final price tag has not yet been determined, the expense will be covered solely by RLMC through the USDA’s rural loan program, as well as local lenders. There are no plans to secure any funding from city, county, or state agencies, ensuring that the project will not contribute to an increase in the local tax base.
RLMC’s current hospital was built in 1970 and has undergone several renovations – including the addition of Rainy Lake Clinic – since its inception. As RLMC continues to grow, parking and patient care space have become a reoccurring challenge, leading officials to consider additional remodels or new construction.
“We’ve put in a considerable amount of work in to determine what the best course of action would be for our facility, patients and staff,” Pastor said. “Our current building does not offer efficiency in workflow for both our staff and patients. We’re working diligently to ensure a new facility is centered around patient care.”
The new facility will include 15 hospital beds, with the ability to expand as needed. Construction will also include larger outpatient services, in-house MRI and an onsite food provider.
“Looking ahead, I am excited about the future we are building together,” Pastor said. “The success of the past several years is a testament to our collective efforts, and I have no doubt that the coming year holds even greater promise for Rainy Lake Medical Center.”
About Rainy Lake Medical Center
Rainy Lake Medical Center stands at the forefront of delivering exceptional medical services to the Borderland communities. With a comprehensive range of offerings, including emergency care, surgery, cardiology rehab and diagnostics, chemo and infusion therapy, family medicine clinics, radiology, obstetrics and gynecology, therapy services, sleep studies, laboratory services, respiratory therapy, and orthopedics. RLMC continues to excel in providing compassionate care for all. RLMC is also dedicated to offering both acute and skilled nursing services through its swing bed care program. For more information about RLMC, visit: rainylakemedical.com.