Welia Health, formerly FirstLight Health System, recently completed an extensive, multi-phase expansion in Mora. The undertaking, which broke ground in the spring of 2017, added roughly 83,000 square feet and modernized virtually every space within the hospital and clinic.
The $52 million project secured the organization’s ability to:
- accommodate growth in surrounding communities,
- offer additional patient services,
- ensure first-rate security,
- upgrade technology for the most advanced patient care, and
- continue to exceed statewide quality goals.
Two and a half years of planning went into the architectural design by well-known and respected design firm, DSGW Architects. One of Minnesota’s top-rated construction management and development firms, Kraus-Anderson Construction, oversaw the project in three phases.
During the first phase, work was contained to four areas within the hospital.
- Four individual labor and birthing rooms were transformed into six birthing suites, the centerpiece of the new Birthing Center. Families now enjoy greater privacy and comfort following the birth of their children.
- Our Rehabilitation Services department nearly doubled in size. Patients and therapists now have a bright, airy space as they work to improve physical functioning and quality of life.
- A spacious and welcoming dining area offers breakfast, lunch and dinner for staff, visitors, and surrounding communities.
- Twenty-three inpatient rooms were designed to be single occupancy, offering additional privacy and a more peaceful healing environment.
During the second phase, we saw dramatic physical changes to the hospital.
- The Emergency Department and helipad were relocated to the northwest corner of the hospital and carefully designed to maximize safety, improve ambulance access, and protect patient privacy during transfer to trauma rooms.
- A new Highway 65 entrance provides easy access to expanded parking close to both clinic and emergency entrances, eliminating registration confusion.
- Chemotherapy and Infusion Therapy services have been relocated to the second floor. The deliberate placement limits exposure to other patients and protects compromised immune systems from risk of infection. At the same time, being close to the elevator and main entrance makes for easy access. To make patients as comfortable as possible, natural light floods the space where plenty of seating is available for visiting family and friends.
During the third phase, the focus shifted to efficiency and convenience.
- An array of advanced technology solutions has been implemented to increase efficiencies in key departments, including lab services, diagnostic imaging, and materials management. In addition, a nurse call system, video surveillance, and patient-friendly television displays are notable enhancements.
- In addition to the in-house pharmacy which serves our clinicians treating inpatient needs, a new Community Pharmacy has been added to serve the needs of the public. It is located right inside the main entrance for fast pick-up.
- The Eye Care Center, which had been located on Union Street, is now part of the family and located on the first floor of the Mora campus.
- Countless improvements and enhancements, big and small, have been implemented to make each patient’s experience as positive one. This is our mission.
Countless improvements and enhancements, big and small, have been implemented to make each patient’s experience as positive one. This is our mission.
As we geared up for this undertaking, our leadership was clear about one thing. No matter the dust, noise and other disruptions, the hospital was to remain open – every day. There would be no interruptions to service for our patients. We would continue to deliver quality care to our community. We are proud to have achieved that goal.
We are grateful to our staff who demonstrated an amazing level of teamwork, as well as their unbending commitment to our patients during some challenging days, weeks and months.
We are grateful to Kraus Anderson and DSGW Architects for their hard work.
We are grateful to our community for putting up with rerouted traffic and other realities of construction.
But most of all, we are grateful to our communities and members for their support and for welcoming this new era of healthcare.