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UHD working on ‘master plan’

By Staff | Mar 31, 2008

Blue Earth Area Mentors, located in a house (left), and a private residence (right) occupy lots owned by United Hospital District.

While United Hospital District in Blue Earth is busy working on long-term planning, a non-profit organization may have to consider making changes of their own.

Hospital administrator Jeff Lang says he and other staff have been putting together a “campus master plan.”

What changes are in store at UHD, if any, are being studied and are in the “early stages,” says Lang.

The planning also involves the Adolescent Treatment Center in Winnebago, says the hospital administrator.

“It’s something all hospitals do quite frequently. Looking at where you want to be five or 10 years from now,” says Lang.

If the plan involves expansion, it could very well be on property UHD owns just south of the facility– including where Interfaith Caregivers was located and Blue Earth Area Mentors is still located.

Hospital officials have cleared the way should future plans call for construction.

About five months ago UHD purchased the property next to BEAM and a lot on South Galbraith near the parking lot.

Lang acknowledges that he contacted BEAM program director Mary Lucas and boardmember Loren Lein to “put them on alert” regarding the hospital’s master plan.

“There’s nothing in the hopper at this point, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t (have something) at sometime,” Lang says.

Lucas says BEAM officials have been told nothing would be done until at least July 2009.

“We are looking for other alternatives and assessing our long-term plans as well, because of their master plan,” Lucas adds. The “master plan” could take five months to complete and is expected to be presented to the hospital board sometime this year.

Lang says senior hospital staff have met with architects, but details of plans are far from being finalized.

Right now, work is being done to determine the patient and facility needs for the future.

Part of the process could involve a community attitude survey conducted by mail or telephone, he says.

When asked if a new clinic could be part of the “master plan” Lang replied that “it’s no secret” UHD officials would like to have the clinic near the hospital.

Currently, the United Hospital District — Clinics office in Blue Earth is located at the Ag Center on Highway 169.

“I think our patients also would appreciate having our clinic on campus,” Lang says. “Anytime you can bring services to one location that’s to the benefit of the patient. I don’t know if that will be feasible.”