For the past two years, several individuals from various entities and agencies have come together to give Frankfort a new healthcare facility in an area where a hospital has stood for at least 70 years.
Friday morning behind where the current IU Health Frankfort Hospital is located, ground was broken on a new $30 million facility that is scheduled to open late summer of 2020. At least 100 city, county and IU Health officials gathered for this momentous occasion.
“To IU Health, this is immense,” said IU Health Frankfort President Kelly Braverman. “We’ve been working on this for over two years which is a lot of time, talent and energy that we’ve invested to bring this to fruition. It’s been a long time coming. It is a dream. It’s absolutely a dream.”
Braverman said the new state-of-the-art facility will include 12 private patient rooms, expanded emergency department services — including two additional exam rooms and a modern trauma suite. The new facility will also house a surgical suite to support the community as they seek care close to home.
Braverman added once the new hospital, which will be located behind the current facility, is complete, the current structure will be razed in the fall of 2020 to make way for additional parking and ample green space.
“There are many more hospitals closing in rural communities than being built new,” said IU Health West Central Region and IU Health Arnett President Dan Neufelder. “We’re excited about making this investment in Frankfort and Clinton County. It’s very important to our statewide healthcare system to provide services to the people of the community.”
Neufelder added, “the real exciting day will be 14 to 15 months from now when we’re cutting the ribbon on a new hospital.”
Everyone agreed that the collaboration between city and city officials along with the utility services and IU Health officials, was instrumental in this new facility becoming a part of the Frankfort and Clinton County landscape.
“A lot of hard work has gone into this and this is the culmination of a couple of years worth of deliberate and thoughtful planning to make this happen,” said Clinton County Commissioners President Josh Uitts. “Everybody has really worked together very, very well to make this a very smooth partnership.”
Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes said who would have thought eight years that a new $30 million hospital would be happening here.
“Don’t underestimate Frankfort and Clinton County,” said McBarnes. “I think we’ve been underestimated for a long time. People should only expect greater things as we move in the future.
“Healthcare is a bedrock of the community along with education and public safety,” he continued. “This gives us what we need to go to the next level. This takes Frankfort from good to great.”