Altru resumes new hospital project with construction beginning in the Fall of 2021

Staff Feature

Grand Forks – Altru Health System will resume their new hospital project with construction beginning this fall and a plan for completion in 2024. Altru shifted focus to support their staff and community during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a result construction on the new hospital was paused in 2020.

“While 2020 was a challenging time for us all, Altru was able to make decisions necessary to enter 2021 with a strong financial outlook,” shared Dave Molmen, Interim CEO at Altru. “As we remain focused on the healthcare needs of our region now and in the future, it is imperative that we resume construction of the hospital and invest in the health and well-being of our community.”

While construction is set to begin this fall, work on the project will begin immediately. The project will be financed through a combination of municipal bonds, contributed cash, and philanthropic support. Most of what was previously planned for the hospital will remain the same, however, over the next several months lessons learned from COVID will be incorporated into the final design. This includes changes such as increased attention to physical distancing, handwashing and air filtration systems. The hospital will be constructed with seven floors and will include a negative pressure unit. 

“The hospital of the future is not the hospital of today,” expressed Dr. Steven Weiser, Altru’s President. “This past year has shown our industry that the needs of our community look different than they did before COVID, and we feel fortunate that we can adapt our plans to ensure we build the hospital our community needs for years to come.”

In addition to the continuation of construction of the new hospital, Altru will enhance surgical capabilities with the addition of an ambulatory surgical center in Grand Forks. Altru will convert their surgery space located in the Altru Specialty Center to an ambulatory surgical center, with plans to expand to a separate location in the future. This will provide cost-effective options for patients who require surgery, but don’t need a hospital stay or hospital-level care during their procedure. The surgery center will offer orthopedic, eye and urology procedures along with plastic surgery.  

“The combination of a new hospital, an ambulatory surgical center and the wide variety of outpatient services Altru offers will provide our region with medical care that rivals much larger cities,” stated Dr. Weiser. “The growth Altru is planning in 2021 and beyond means our patients can remain close to home for world-class care. That’s Altru’s vision and one we look forward to upholding as our region’s health system.” 

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

Be sure to follow Devils Lake Journal on our twitter page, @devilslakenews, and like us on Facebook!