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St. Joseph's Hospital and Health Center asks community for input on new facility

Press Photo by Sean M. Soehren St. Joseph's Hospital and Health Center CEO Reed Reyman points out design ideas during a public forum about construction of a new hospital at the Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge in Dickinson on Tuesday evening.

The public voiced their hopes and concerns about a proposed hospital to be built in the Dickinson during a forum hosted by St. Joseph's Hospital and Health Center at the Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge on Tuesday evening.

The hospital is proposed to be built on 40 acres in west Dickinson near Interstate 94 exit 59.

St. Joseph's CEO Reed Reyman began the "state of the hospital address" by asking the public to be involved and let the hospital know what things need to be changed.

The hospital is in the process of making a master facility plan and program that will take input from forums held throughout the area, he added.

"It is working together to make a hospital that works," Reyman said.

Issues relating to the emergency room facilities, the location of the new hospital, retention of physicians and leadership throughout the building process were among the issues discussed.

Rhonda Dukart, who was recently appointed to the St. Joseph's Board of Directors, said she hoped the emergency room setup would be altered if the new facility was built. The current setup has patients entering at the main lobby.

"When a person walks in, everybody is looking right at you," she said. "It would be nice for more privacy."

Reyman revealed two sample designs that would offer more privacy, but he said they are just for comparison to the existing facility and would not reflect the design of the new hospital.

Dickinson resident Brad Fong said he was concerned that building at the proposed location would not allow expansion, except to add on new stories.

Fong said that the city is growing and the need for expansion is a possibility.

Reyman said expansion may be required, but most health care has changed from inpatient to outpatient treatments and that doesn't require as much space.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Tammy Grosuluk said she was concerned because of the quick turnover of leadership in past years.

"In my 15 years at the hospital, you (Reyman) are the fourth CEO," she said. "It would be hard to start an initiative like this and change leadership."

"You will have to drag me out," Reyman said with a laugh.

A new facility would be a big help in acquiring new physicians, Reyman said.

The hospital is looking to fill 8 positions. Reyman said the need for staff is determined by assessing the need for physicians community-wide, not just at the hospital.

The hospital is expected to break ground in about three years and is expected to cost $55 million to $70 million, Reyman said.

Most of the funding will come from Catholic Health Initiatives, which owns the hospital.

Reyman said that two designers have looked at the existing facility, but no decisions have been made. The hospital was a gift from the Sisters of the Holy Cross, so there are stipulations that the building must be used for community purposes, Reyman said.