EMHS celebrates with ribbon cutting
BY STACI WILSON
When Endless Mountains Health Systems took over the management of Montrose General Hospital over 20 years ago, its main focus was to keep the rural critical access healthcare facility open.
But Dr. Joseph Speicher said, “In the back of our minds we wanted a new facility.”
And now that dream has come to fruition with a ribbon cutting ceremony held Friday, Nov. 8 at the new, state-of-art healthcare facility that includes a 24-bed hospital and physicians’ clinic, located on Rt. 706, in Bridgewater Twp., about one mile from the old hospital in Montrose.
Dr. Paul Kerr, one of the founder’s of Montrose General in the 1950s, attended the ribbon cutting event. He said he was moved to tears when he entered the new facility.
Speicher spoke about coming to Montrose about 30 years ago and how he looked past the fading exterior and cramped halls of Montrose General and established a practice to work in this area where there was a doctor shortage.
“The value and reward is not in the structure, it’s in the people you take care of,” Speicher said. “Our mission now is to provide quality care equal to the building we’re in.
EMHS broke ground on the hospital, which replaces the outdated facility located in Montrose, in early 2012. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. of Houston, donated $1 million and issued a $1 million community match pledge for the physicians’ clinic. The campaign, along with a $1 million grant from the Weinberg Foundation, led to a total of $4.4 million raised toward the construction of the physician’s clinic in four months.
Cabot Oil & Gas Vice President North Region Phil Stalnaker noted the outpouring of support that happened during the community match campaign comprised of donations “from $25 to $250,000.”
“I’ve never seen a community rally quite the way this one did with this hospital,” Stalnaker said. “This project is a symbol of growth and commitment to the future.”
The physicians’ clinic portion of the facility will be known as the Cabot Community Medical Center, announced EMHS Board Member Chris Caterson.
A large portion of the hospital funding came through a $25 million long-term, low interest loan with the USDA-Rural Development.
USDA Rural Development State Director Thomas Williams said, “I’m so proud to be able to fund a project like this which has such community support.”
USDA also funded EMHS the $1.6 million necessary to upgrade to electronic medical records in order to comply with Affordable Care Act requirements.
Williams said that the new EMHS site brings not only cutting edge medical services to the area, but also will help to create high paying jobs “that will keep this community growing.”
EMHS Board Chairman Ray Wilmarth expressed his thanks to the employees. “This staff gave of their time, gave of their money to make this happen,” Wilmarth said.
“This was a true community effort. I’m so grateful to live in a community that pulls together,” he said.