The Tomah Health Foundation has pledged $275,000 over the next five years to help construct a new hospital on the city’s south side.
Foundation board members announced the pledge Aug. 4 following the foundation’s annual golf outing at Hiawatha Golf Club, Tomah.
“It certainly marks a significant endorsement of the project,” foundation president Peter Reichardt said of the donation. “The foundation’s support is the result of a lot of work by many people over the years that had the forward thinking to raise funds that would be used one day to make a major impact on the health and wellness of our community.”
Reichardt said the success of the foundation’s golf outings over the years and into the future will further support the hospital building project.
“Our 5 year donation will be earmarked for planned wellness rooms at the new hospital as well as the walking trail that will encompass the medical campus,” said Reichardt. “Both projects certainly align with the mission of the foundation,” he added.
Reichardt said the foundation plans to designate a portion of funds from future golf outings to help with the hospital project.
“Over the past 15 years, the foundation has distributed more than $60,000 in scholarships to students planning a future health care career. We also have made significant donations to area not for profit organizations, like the Neighbor for Neighbor Food Pantry, Second Harvest FoodBank, Monroe County Health Department, and Tomah Boys & Girls Club to support health and wellness initiatives,” explained Reichardt. “It certainly takes on a significant role when golfers know our outing helps with the health and wellness of our community.”
Hospital CEO Phil Stuart said the support from the foundation is a major kick off to the new hospital construction project.
“Over the years, the foundation has always been a major supporter of the hospital, and this latest donation reflects the importance of the new hospital to the overall health and continued wellness of our area,” said Stuart.
He said construction plans for the estimated $66-million dollar new hospital remain on track, with a planned groundbreaking scheduled late next month.
“We have been moving along with our planning meetings with our design and construction teams, and we are working very closely with all the hospital departments and medical staff on developing the new facility.”
Last spring, Tomah Health first announced the project, which included building a proposed 130,000 sq. ft. hospital, 80,000 sq. ft. medical office building and 50,000 sq. ft. community / wellness facility on a 40-acre site located on Tomah’s south side adjacent to Interstate 90 along Gopher Avenue.
Since then the plans have been modified to an estimated 140,000 sq. ft. three-story hospital and proposed medical office building that would be attached to the hospital.
Stuart confirmed that the Gundersen Health System will be part of the medical office building. Gundersen currently has a clinic along Superior Avenue on Tomah’s north side. He also said that officials from the Mayo Health System have “declined to move on the campus at this time, but there is still consideration to provide space for them at a future date.” Mayo currently operates a clinic adjacent to Tomah Health on Butts Avenue.
“At this point some preliminary site work could begin on the site later this month before the official groundbreaking in September,” said Stuart.
He said the latest timetable still keeps the project on target with a scheduled completion in the summer of 2019.
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