Wednesday, May 24, 2006

BIG news about Altru

Altru Health System of Grand Forks announced on Tuesday plans to soon start a new building project that will total $100 million dollars worth of expansion and remodeling of the Altru medical campus and result in the hiring of 38 new physicians and 400 other medical personnel.

Few of you may remember this because I wasn't getting as many readers way back then, but I first mentioned such a project on Grand Forks Life in late December of last year. At that time, I only knew that Altru was talking about what I thought was a $40 million dollar project of some sort...who could have imagined a $100 million dollar project? That's one Ralph Engelstad Arena or two Canad Inns...take your pick, either way the scope of this monumental project should be clear.

This is BIG news...some of the biggest we've heard for Grand Forks in the last few years. The press release from Altru states that the project will "touch on virtually every area of the Altru campus." The face of healthcare is going to be forever changed in Grand Forks.

Some of the projects mentioned:
•"renovation and re-engineering" of the hospital
•"renovation and re-engineering" of the clinics
•a new "ambulatory surgical center"
•expansion of Altru Cancer Center
•expansion of heart and vascular services
•an investment in cutting-edge technology
•an electronic medical records system
•renovation of satellite clinics in the region

Besides the many proposed building projects, the other thing that shocked me when I first heard the news and excites me now is plan for so many new positions: 400 new medical personnel and 38 new physicians. The average salaries for the medical personnal will be $40,000 and we all know how much doctors make...this is going to be a huge economic boost for Grand Forks.

I see Grand Forks residents no longer having to travel 70 some miles down the interstate for certain procedures. I see Grand Forks becoming more and more of a healthcare center.

Something else that still makes me think is the fact that there is a real possibility that the Stadter Center/Aurora Medical Park on South Washington Street (that's what they're calling it, by the way...the Aurora Medical Park) could evolve into a whole new healthcare system with their own hospital. It could happen. I wonder if Altru's announcement changes plans for the developers of that complex.

One report that I saw on tv mentioned that Altru's construction projects would begin soon and another report said that some remodeling projects have already started. I have noticed construction equipment in the rear of the Altru campus recently. It looks like the first phase of this project should get underway in earnest before too long.

I have to say that I'm very impressed with Altru's level of commitment to the community. It makes me feel good when I see a company like Canad Inns willing to spend $50 million dollars on a Grand Forks project and it makes me feel great when I see an organization like Altru willing to spend $100 million dollars on a Grand Forks project. These two entities seem to have plenty of faith in the future of our fair city.

Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting project. I can't wait to see some sketches of some of the proposed building projects.

14 comments:

PartTime said...

Impressive! All this major construction going on in Grand Forks and at UND, I can see why this year could be the biggest(or one of the biggest) construction years Grand Forks has ever seen, growth is good! Where are all the construction companies coming from though? seems like way to many major projects for local and regional construction companies to handle, or am I wrong? Or do they (contractors) have more than one project going and they jump from site to site like small contractors sometimes do? Just curious.

PartTime said...

As for a possible hospital going up out at the Aurora Medical Park, that would be great news if it happens. I'm sure it would have a brick design to it to go along with the other buildings out at the medical park. I'd like to see more state of the art design buildings go up in town though, Grand Forks has enough 2, 3, 4 and 5 story brick buildings. Look at the Aerospace Building out at UND, a very impressive building and look at how it stands out. Anyways, just my opinion, I'm sure state of the art design versus brick design comes with a price tag too.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that if you have a 9:00 am doctor's appointment, you will actuallly see the doctor then, or have to wait til 9:45?

JGS said...

On the WDAZ clip of the Altru news, it looks like they're going to expand future development in that open space in front of Arby's and south of the Family Medical building. Guess they had plans about this expansion in the past and kept that land for themselves.

GrandForksGuy said...

Yes, JGS...looks like they will be doing some sort of expansion in the space across from Arby's. Guess it was smart for them to hold onto that land for their own development. I wonder if there are any plans to actually add a couple of floors to the hospital. If memory serves me correctly, the hospital was built so that it could be extended 2 or 3 more stories.

GrandForksGuy said...

PartTime, I'm not sure how the contractors in town are going to handle everything either. I guess there may have to be more and more out-of-town contractors working on GF projects. I'm sure Altru will try to use local contractors though. Guess we'll find out.

As far as building design, I too would like to see more "state of the art" buildings in GF. Innovis Hospital in Fargo is a really nice looking modern hospital building. I would like to see something like that in GF. The buildings down by the Stadter Center are very nice looking though. I like the classic appearence of the new 2-story medical office building under construction there. The one thing that bothers me a little about that whole development though is the fact that all of the buildings (Stadter Center, Aurora Medical Park building, Cancer Center, etc.) all have different types of architectural styles. I'm a bit suprised that the developers don't want the whole campus to match a little better.

Anonymous said...

"I have to say that I'm very impressed with Altru's level of commitment to the community. "

I think that should read "commitment to the community's dollar."

They won't do anything without a profit, nor should they, but don't believe they would have any "commitment" without the $$. If they thought there were more $$ in Emerado, they would be building there.

JGS said...

Maybe if you read what was in the topic, you would know why they are expanding. I'll clear it up for ya, they're expanding to meet the higher demands.

I won't rule out that they're looking for more money.. but what big company in the world isn't looking for more money?

Anonymous said...

Altru is a nonprofit organization.

Anonymous said...

"Altru is a nonprofit organization."
Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Ha Ha Ha ! ! ! Try not paying your bill - non-profit my A$$ ! ! ! In name only

GrandForksGuy said...

Try not paying your bill - non-profit my A$$

Not paying your bill? When is it ever acceptable to not pay your bills? Should Altru forgive your bills simply because they are non-profit? Of course not! If they routinely let people get away without paying their bills just because they are a non-profit organization, they would quickly go out of business and then they wouldn't be able to provide medical services to anyone in the community...just because you didn't want to pay your bill.

In all of my experiences with Altru, they of course expect to see all bills ultimately paid, but they are very lenient with how quickly bills have to be paid back and how big each payment has to be. Altru expecting to get paid for the services that they provide doesn't negate the fact that they are a non-profit organization.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend in law enforcment that takes people to Jamestown. He says Atru Psych calls a lot to have people taken to Jamestown because their insurance ran out. Atru uses the emergency commitment statutes to make their bill an emergency situation. Then it is the tax-payer that pays for the person to go to the state hospital from Atru. So maybe it is a tax supported non profit?

Anonymous said...

"Non profit" must be one of the most misunderstood terms in America.

Anonymous said...

and I thought "nigardly" was