Baldwin Area Medical Center Construction Update
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BALDWIN — Construction is progressing on the new Baldwin Area Medical Center (BAMC) health and wellness facility. Last fall, BAMC broke ground on a 106,000 square foot facility that is located on the NW corner of I-94 and Hwy 63 intersection directly west of the A&W. The new facility will be named Western Wisconsin Health.
Currently, the structural steel of the building’s exterior is complete and they have started to lay cast stone and brick. The entire building is expected to be closed in and weather tight by November 1, 2015. They are also preparing for installation of the roadway going into the site that is directly adjacent to the A & W and Freedom Gas Station.
The new facility will have three floors, with all patient services on the main ground level. Patient services will include a clinic, emergency services, surgical services, a premier birth center, inpatient hospital, state-of-the-art diagnostic capabilities, retail pharmacy and gift shop, public café, chapel/meditation room, and an educational atrium. The building is designed in prairie style architecture with structures that are in harmony with the natural environment. The new building will be highly sustainable and is complete with windows and skylights to bring in natural daylight for our patients and staff.
There have been many questions from the community regarding the new facility. We have prepared a Q & A that answers many of the questions that people are interested in.
Why do we need a new Medical Center?
For nearly 80 years, the current facility has served us well; however, it is outdated, and lacks amenities expected by the existing patient base. The current location is landlocked and lacks visibility. In order to continue to deliver high quality health and wellness services, accommodate advances in medical technology, and to adequately meet the requirements of a growing community, BAMC must build a new facility. The new facility will incorporate the use of many sustainable energy sources such as geothermal for heating and cooling and, eventually, solar panels for electricity. This will not only benefit the environment, but will lower ongoing operating costs.
What will you do with the current facility?
We are researching options for the use of the current building. Several local not-for-profit community organizations are looking at using the current medical center for space. The fitness center and therapeutic pool will stay at the current site, and then move out to the new campus at a later date.
Is BAMC joining a large system?
The intent is to remain an independent medical facility. BAMC currently collaborates with several large health systems to bring specialty providers to Baldwin. Most recently, BAMC engaged Allina Health to help implement a new electronic health record. The benefit of remaining independent allows us to be very responsive to the needs of the community and provide the services that are best for our patients.
Will you offer the same services?
Yes. We will continue to provide traditional medical services such as primary care, surgery and orthopedics, infusion services, integrative health services, obstetrics, emergency and inpatient care. We will also expand our reach to provide health and wellness services that will benefit people of every age.
How many beds will you have at the new facility?
The facility is a critical access facility that is licensed for 25 beds. We have built the new facility with 15 beds, with room to add on in the future. The current change in healthcare, with many surgical services being outpatient procedures, proves there is not a need to have as many beds.
Why are you renaming?
The Board of Directors made the decision to change the name of the facility to Western Wisconsin Health. They wanted a name that could encompass the entire region. Over the years, BAMC has developed several brands, and with this change, we can create one brand and one image. This change will help people see the campus in a new way and help to portray us as a regional leader in healthcare.
Is your building sustainable or Eco-Friendly?
The facility has many sustainable features, including geothermal heat, all LED lighting, healing gardens, and water bottle filling stations. In the future, there will be photovoltaic (solar) capabilities. Most of the construction materials have been purchased locally in Wisconsin. The building will qualify for LEED Certification, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which is a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes, and neighborhoods. To date, 91% of the construction waste has been recycled on the site.
What is the long range plan for the rest of the land?
The long-range plan for the 95 acre health and wellness campus is to establish a community hub for health and wellness services of all types including: retirement housing, senior care, retail services, and other community resources that support healthy living.
Will you expand clinic hours at the new facility?
We will be expanding our clinic hours in order to be more accessible. This will include early morning and late evening hours.
Will the fitness center and therapeutic pool be located at the new site?
The fitness center and therapeutic pool are designed and will be constructed at the new site when adequate philanthropic funds have been raised. Until then, the fitness center and pool will remain at the old facility.
For more information and for additional project updates, please visit our website at healthybaldwin.org.