Altru Clinic - Lake Region to expand

Ray Maloney, Sports
A number of Altru Clinic - Lake Region officials and employees were on hand Wednesday to take part in groundbreaking ceremonies for a $10.3 million expansion and remodeling project at the Devils Lake clinic. Among those were, from left, Annie Gerhardt, FNP-BD, Dr. Rita Nalubega, Dr. Somasundaram Bharath, Kaye Nelson, clinic supervisor for Altru Clinic - Lake Region and Ian Watson, administrative director of regional operations. Also taking part were Cheryl Fischer, nursing supervisor for Altru Clinic - Lake Region, Brad Wehe, COO Dr. Casey Ryan, president Devils Lake mayor Richard Johnson, Dave Molmen, CEO, Randy Beck, manager of regional operations, Brett Travica, manager of Altru Clinic - Lake Region (beginning July 11), Dr. Paul Fetterly and Leah Hummel, Altru's facilities manager.

With an eye toward the future ground was broken Wednesday for a $10.3 million expansion and renovation at Altru Clinic - Lake Region in Devils Lake.

"This is a great day for Altru and for Devils Lake," said Altru Health System president Dr. Casey Ryan, who kicked off the announcement outside the clinic's current facility. "This project allows Altru to expand its physician staff in Devils Lake."

Ryan was one of several dignitaries on hand for Wednesday's announcement, which caps years of planning by Altru officials to improve the city's clinic.

"This is a new generation for the medical community," said Dave Molmen, chief executive officer for Altru, whose group announced last month a partnership with the prestigious Mayo Clinic. (The expansion) will allow us to install the latest in technology in equipment and to improve patient care."

Officials announced work would begin June 27 and will include the addition of 27,000 square feet covering two floors. It will also mean the remodeling of some 13,000 square feet of the current facility.

The addition of the two floors will house physician offices and increase the number of examination rooms. Meanwhile, the remodeling phase will allow for expansion of laboratories at the clinic, as well as providing more oncology, pharmacy and other specialty outreach services at the clinic.

"We are very excited about these changes," said Kaye Nelson, Altru Clinic-Lake Region supervisor. "They will definitely improve access and our ability to deliver quality care to the people of the Lake Region."

"This will undoutedly become the flagship station for Altru," Molmen added, "and will provide a positive healing environment for all our patients."

Devils Lake mayor Dick Johnson was also in attendance for Wednesday's announcement.

"It is a great day for Devils Lake (Wednesday)," said Johnson, who is in his first term as mayor. "This (project) renews the vigor of health care in the Lake Region."

Ryan also said the completion of the state-of-the-art medical facility is expected to attract developers of other large projects to Devils Lake and the Lake Region.

"Altru is making a huge investment in Devils Lake and in the Lake Region," Ryan said.

Officials announced the project would be phased in and will be done with a little disruption to current patient services being offered at the clinic. They also added the project should be completed late summer in 2012 with the renovation of the current clinic. The expansion project itself is expected to be completed in May 2012.

An artist’s rendering of what the new and expanded Altru Clinic - Lake Region will look like when completed.