Livingston hospital CEO: 'This is one of the largest projects in Park County history'

2014-06-09T00:00:00Z 2014-06-09T17:14:10Z Livingston hospital CEO: 'This is one of the largest projects in Park County history'By CINDY UKEN cuken@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

LIVINGSTON — Nearly eight months after ground was broken for construction of a new $43.5 million critical-access hospital and clinic, work on the two-story facility is on schedule and set to open by fall 2015.

The foundation is finished and two-thirds of the building’s steel is in place. The balance of the steel is expected to arrive Thursday with steel construction slated for completion by the end of June

The 115,000-square-foot hospital and clinic, which will be located on 30 acres, is being built by Livingston HealthCare in affiliation with Billings Clinic. It will feature 25 private patient rooms with private baths, state-of-the-art patient care areas and centralized registration.

A Topping Out Ceremony will be held at noon on June 25 to celebrate placement of the last and highest steel beam in the structure. All employees and community members are welcome to attend and sign the beam before it is raised. Site tours and lunch will be provided.

“This is one of the largest projects in Park County history,” said Bren Lowe, CEO of LHC. “It’s been exciting for the entire community to watch the progress.”

Once complete, all of LHC’s facilities will be brought under one roof, including the emergency department, ICU, surgery, the clinic, lab services, imaging, swing-bed program, the Women’s Center, home care/hospice, sleep center, labor and delivery, and orthopedic and rehabilitation services.

Currently, LHC operates out of 15 separate locations with a combined square footage of 75,000. The new facility will not only provide more space to serve patients, but will bring all services together and increase efficiency and accessibility.

LHC is the largest employer in Park County with more than 300 staff members and 13 physicians.

In addition to enhancing the local health care facilities, the construction aspect of the new facility is stimulating the local economy, creating dozens of jobs. The new hospital and clinic is also expected to attract new businesses and offices that want to be in close proximity.

As part of its formal affiliation agreement, LHC has invited Billings Clinic to participate in its governance, although LHC remains a separate nonprofit facility, with separate financial statements. As part of the management agreement, the CEO is jointly selected and evaluated by the local board and Billings Clinic. The CEO is employed by Billings Clinic and lives in the local community.

Swank Enterprises is the general contractor for the project.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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