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After Long Delay, Gregory Begins Upgrading Health Facilities

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After a delay due to COVID-19, the community of Gregory is getting a new hospital, clinic, and long term care center.  

The $36 million project will integrate a 17-bed hospital, 30-bed long-term care center and a clinic that will accommodate up to 10 local providers and visiting outreach specialists. The new hospital will operate as a single campus on roughly 20 acres of land.  

Tony Timanus is the CEO of Avera Gregory Hospital. He says the new facility will double their current space and accommodate the latest technology and evidence-based medical practices. He says it’s cost effective to build new because simply updating the current facility would cost more than $10 million.  

“We saw that bill and thought, you know maybe it’s time. Maybe it’s time to start looking at not just a replacement but an actual new build in our community and that’s what started it all” 

Timanus says a new facility will focus on the changing needs in health care. It will include connections to telemedicine services, a helipad, and larger surgical suites. He says more care is done on an outpatient basis than in years past. Gregory’s hospital sees 13,000 outpatient visits per year compared to less than 600 inpatient visits.  

“You know we’re a small, small rural community in South Central South Dakota, but we punch well above our weight as fare as volume. We see, We see between 12 and 15 thousand patients per year” 

Timanus says having a modern facility to match its recognized quality of care will help with physician and employee recruitment and retention. 

Groundbreaking is planned for late April. The long-term care center is expected to be complete in summer of 2022 and the hospital and clinic in fall of 2023.