Rio Grande Hospital Breaks Ground on Expansion

By Rachel Leber

DEL NORTE, Colo. — Representatives from the Rio Grande Hospital and its foundation board gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony in Del Norte on Nov. 14.

The extension and renovation of the Rio Grande hospital will include an additional building between the main hospital and the Rio Grande Hospital Clinic. The new building will house a new physical therapy department — an expansion on the emergency room that will include a secure location where local law enforcement can bring inmates from the Rio Grande County Jail.

Additionally, there will be a new wound care department with a hyperbaric chamber and the latest therapy for wound care. Also, the new hospital will have room for new specialty clinics such as orthopedic, cardiology, ENT and specialty providers who visit regularly. Finally, conference rooms will be added to support education and networking for the community. This will include significant upgrades and remodeling of the Del Norte rural health clinic to be more patient-centric and team-based.

The project was funded through the combined efforts of the hospital board, who held several fundraising events throughout the last five years while planning for the expansion was underway, in combination with a low interest loan through the USDA. The two financial sources combine for a total of close to $21 million that is required to start the project. The construction schedule is estimated to take approximately one year.

The project will bring innovative healthcare to the steadily growing community and is just one of many instances of renovations that Rio Grande Hospital has undertaken in the southwestern part of the valley over the past 20 years. Since 1996, the Rio Grande Hospital has built clinics in Creede, Del Norte and Monte Vista — all located in Colorado — and keeping the Rio Grande Hospital itself as up-to-date as possible along the way.

“I have never seen a community that has been more supportive and willing to help as the one here in Del Norte,” said Arlene Harms, chief executive officer of the Rio Grande Hospital, as reported by Alamosa News. “The boards have continuously been in favor of supporting what this community needs.”