Rutland Regional Medical Center says it wants to build a new $21.7 million expansion to accommodate its growing orthopedic services, physiatry department and ear, nose and throat department.
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Hospital president Tom Huebner says the proposed two-story structure would replace an existing loading dock and provide additional space for RRMC’s dietary staff.
“The drivers though are the clinic space,” says Huebner. “The Vermont Orthopedic Clinic is in a building now that was built for four providers. We currently have 12 providers working in that space, so it’s grossly inadequate for what we need it for.”
By incorporating the physiatry department, which treats a wide variety of medical conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints and muscles, Huebner says the hospital can better integrate its musculoskeletal services.
The second floor of the new building will house the ear, nose and throat and audiology departments, which Huebner says are equally squeezed in their current offices.
Because of the project’s size, the Rutland City Board of Aldermen needs to sign a letter of support. Huebner says that will enable the hospital to apply for low-interest financing from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.
Sharon Davis, president of the Board of Aldermen, says the hospital is expected to bring the matter up at Tuesday's board meeting, and that she does not foresee any problems with supporting it.
The current orthopedic clinic, located across the street from the hospital, will be turned into additional administrative offices for the hospital.
Huebner says there are a number of regulatory steps the hospital needs to complete, including Act 250. But he says if all goes according to plan, the project should be completed in about two and a half years.