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A place I hope to never visit again

By Staff | Mar 8, 2020

I have visited the emergency room department at the United Hospital District Hospital quite a few times over my nearly 13 years of living in Blue Earth.

The first time was shortly after my arrival here in November of 2007.

There were several things I wanted to do right away and one of those was to quickly learn where everything was. That included touring several facilities, including the Blue Earth Area School buildings and the UHD Hospital and Blue Earth Clinic.

I remember Superintendent Dale Brandsoy giving me a guided tour of the schools. I think I got a little lost in the middle school which he thought funny.

UHD administrator Jeff Lang likewise gave me a tour of the hospital and clinic. That was back in the day when the old hospital building on the east side was still there and being used as a clinic.

My, oh my, has UHD come a long ways since those days. That old hospital (turned clinic) was torn down and the all new clinic and hospital wing were built. It was a huge project that included removal of several nearby homes.

But, I digress.

That was my first look at the ER a guided tour by the administrator.

After that I had the opportunity to see the ER in action. I?should clarify it was not for me as a patient.

However, when my oldest son, Nate, and his family lived in Blue Earth for a while when he worked for Seneca here, we had to take my grandson there twice, and my granddaughter there once.

Grandson Andrew went once when he stuck an object up his nose and his parents and grandparents could not get it out. His second time was when he was running in our house and hit his head on an extended counter top and sliced the top of his scalp open. Granddaughter Lauren, who happened to be born at UHD, was still an infant when she quit breathing at our house and we rushed her to the emergency room ourselves since we live just a block away.

After the UHD ER staff got her breathing again and stable, she went on an airplane ride to Children’s Hospital in the Twin Cities to see what was wrong with her.

Turns out it was severe acid reflux, caused by a type of baby formula. Who’da thunk it! A change in formula and she was fine.

Then it was a couple of trips to the ER with my mother, Natalie, when she was living with us, and then residing at the St. Luke’s Care Center complex.

It was awesome care at the ER every time I had to take someone there.

My last visit to the ‘old’ UHD ER was a little over a year ago. UHD chief executive officer (CEO) Rick Ash gave me a tour of the emergency department when it was under full demolition.

He was giving me a guided tour and describing how the place was going to look when it was all done. There was also an architect’s drawing so I had a fair idea of what was happening.

My next visits to the site were in the ‘new’ ER. I took some photos as it was under construction and then again when it was just about done.

And then, my last visit was on Saturday, Feb. 29, during the ribbon cutting and grand reopening.

And wow, what a transformation. We now have a top-notch, state-of-the-art emergency room department here in good old Blue Earth.

The ER was not the only part of this $7 million project. There was a completed new wing in the clinic, air quality equipment, chapel, gift shop, surgery waiting room area and more.

When I got that tour of UHD back in 2007, I noticed that it seemed odd to enter the hospital and walk down a long hallway to find the registration desk. Now, things are arranged just the way they should be. One main entrance, registration desk and gift shop right inside the front door, privacy in waiting rooms, well, you get the idea.

I have said it before (and written it before), but we are so very lucky to have a facility like UHD here in our community.

Not only does it have a great staff, provide excellent medical services of many kinds, it also is a wonderful building. And, the best part? It is also still locally owned (by all of us) and is independent.

I hope you had a chance to get to the open house at UHD and see all the improvements yourself.

While you can see the new front entrance, registration desk, gift shop and chapel almost any time, the ER, for many reasons, is off limits to the public.

The only way you are going to be able to see this new emergency room department now is, well, because you, or a loved one, need its services.

And, I don’t wish that on anyone. But if you do have a need, rest assured you will get excellent care in a top-notch facility.

As for me, I’m hoping I don’t have to have another visit to the ER for a long, long time. For any reason.