Dalpoas said that he was present "simply to give a status report on
"I'm not here seeking any action or for an
endorsement from the council," Dalpoas said. "What we are proposing
to do is construct a new hospital."
About the construction of a new building, he said, "This project
is about much more than bricks and mortar. This project is about
mission and preserving our charitable mission for the next
Dalpoas then recalled the main historical changes of the hospital
and the medical needs it serves today.
Through its 105
years the hospital has been an important part of the economic,
social and spiritual fabric of these great communities of Lincoln
and Logan County.
It dates back to
the turn of the 20th century when community leaders desiring nothing
more than to treat the sick and heal the injured decided to take
bold action. They marshaled in the courage, and will, and community
resources to build a brand-new hospital.
In 1902 the
Deaconess Home and Hospital was built at the corner of Seventh and
By the early 1950s
procedures advanced and the number of patients served increased,
changing the medical landscape dramatically, Dalpoas said.
again rallied, and in 1954 ALMH opened its doors. In recent years
the hospital has been recognized by state and national agencies for
its treatment of patients and overall performance.
Once again the
landscape has changed. Conditions that would have required a seven-
to 10-day stay now can be performed in a couple of hours on an
outpatient basis, he said.
When new, the
hospital had an average daily census of over 100 inpatients, and few
if any outpatient procedures were performed.
Today we perform
over 160 outpatient procedures every day. That's more than 58,000
outpatient visits every year and it's growing. That number is
expected to reach 60,000 next year.
leaders such as chairman of the hospital board Dave Campbell (who
was present) are prepared to take the same bold action and make an
unprecedented investment in our city. We are prepared to build a
new hospital that is designed not only to meet the need of today's
patient, but tomorrow's.
This decision did
not happen overnight, he said. Over the course of five-plus years,
the management of the hospital and the board of directors engaged
outside experts to conduct a master site plan. In 2005 four options
were reviewed and measured against the needs of the community. The
board of directors listened to focus groups and took into account
over 700 community surveys, and determined that the best approach to
serve outpatients and maintain the charitable mission would be to
construct a new hospital.
[to top of second column]
Dalpoas then asked for questions from the council.
Q: Mayor Beth Davis-Kavelman asked what would become of the
Dalpoas: Our strong desire and clear intent is to find an
alternate use for the building.
He could not say what that use would be, but emphasized that they
would not just walk away and leave it boarded up. "We have too much
civic pride, we value our community too much and clearly recognize
the detriment that such a large building vacated would have on our
community," he said.
Q: Mayor Davis-Kavelman also asked if it would change the number
of patients who are transferred elsewhere for treatment.
Dalpoas: That would remain the same. We would still want to
transfer patients to a higher level of care when it is outside our
scope. That's in the absolute best interest of the patients we
Q: Alderwoman Marty Neitzel recalled a meeting she attended where
it was described that to keep up with new technology the hospital
would need some major electrical changes. She questioned the
condition of the building's electrical, heat and air conditioning,
if it were to be used by someone else.
Dalpoas: It would depend on who would be interested in it.
Q: Alderwoman Wanda Lee Rohlfs asked if the change of focus from
inpatient to outpatient changes the mission of the hospital.
Dalpoas: Our mission wouldn't change. Our mission is to maintain,
restore and improve the health of the people in our communities we
serve. The patients we serve have gone from predominantly inpatient
to predominantly outpatient.
What I can assure you is that every patient who receives care at
our current hospital would have access to an advanced-level care in
the new hospital, including emergency, surgical, diagnostic,
obstetric, general medicine, pediatric, intensive and same-day
patient care, he said.
Alderwoman Melody Anderson observed that the change in facilities
has occurred about every 50 years and wondered how and if the
current plans would possibly keep more up-to-date in the future.
Dalpoas: Health care constantly changes. The almost 58-acre site
would be a help to have in the future.
When Alderwoman Jonie Tibbs asked how big the building would be,
Dalpoas said that he was not ready to address specifics such as
this. It is too early in the planning phase. He agreed with Neitzel,
who had questioned and suggested that it was about the shift to
serve more outpatients, and the new building would meet that need
Alderman Buzz Busby commented that a good school system,
financial institutions and an up-to-date hospital are important to a
community. "I endorse this new hospital," he said. "I go there every
month, and they're cramped for room for outpatient services. I think
it will actually add to the growth of the city."
The hospital has plans for a new $40 million building that would
be built on an 8-acre campus west of Business 55, between Woodlawn
Road and Fifth Street Road.
[By JAN YOUNGQUIST]