Deer Lodge Medical Center

Neenan partners to bring 21st century solution to meet rural medical needs

Situation:
Built in 1964, the Powell County Medical Center (PCMC) in rural Deer Lodge Valley, Montana was an aging inpatient facility that wasn’t attractive to either patients or physicians. In addition, it was poorly located in relation to I-90, a potential source of emergency room visits. Seeking to determine the best solution from marketing, finance and construction perspectives, the PCMC board selected The Neenan Company, Stroudwater Associates, and Dougherty Mortgage to assist them in sorting out the opportunities and needs.

Solution:
The Neenan Company team lead a participatory process with PCMC stakeholders, including department heads, practitioners, board members and executive leadership to determine a strategy for growth, adaptation to current and future medical needs, and just how they might afford a new facility. The Neenan team was charged with developing a project scope, a design concept, a total project budget, and a financing methodology. In addition, the PCMC board charged the team with developing a process for site acquisition, design, equipping, financing and construction of a replacement hospital within a timeline that accesses historically low financing and construction costs.

Conditions of Satisfaction:
For Patients

  • Provide and comply with patient privacy
  • Deliver patient comfort
  • Be inviting

For Physicians and Staff

  • An environment for a lifetime
  • Provide for privacy and confidentiality

For the Facility

  • A replacement solution that is affordable
  • Become the community’s destination for healthcare
  • Orient the facility toward outpatient vs. inpatient care
  • Provide space for new services and technology
  • Designed to be functional and support the efficient delivery of care
  • Provide for patient, practitioner, and staff privacy

Results:

  • The 43,000 SF Deer Lodge Medical Center was ultimately located next to Interstate 90, providing convenient access and increased visibility. The facility’s interior design is dedicated to wellness, with soothing colors and a quiet atmosphere. The main galleria of the new hospital has the look and feel of Montana lodge, a comfortable environment that resonates with local community.
  • Services in the new facility include emergency, laboratory, surgery, imaging, physical therapy and clinic services. The hospital also features 16 inpatient beds for overnight patient stays.
  • The Deer Lodge hospital replacement facility was financed with $17.855 million of tax-exempt bonds. The bonds, issued by the Montana Facility Finance Authority, were sold with an average interest rate of approximately 4.60%. The low cost of funds was made possible by the credit enhancement provided by the Board of Investments of the State of Montana’s Master Loan Program.

Among the goals of the new hospital were to provide more outpatient healthcare services in Deer Lodge while creating a more efficient and welcoming environment. Hospital administrators are confident that the new, modern hospital will keep more healthcare dollars in Deer Lodge and assist in recruiting and retaining physicians and staff to the community.
“We gained trust early on with Neenan by your attentive listening to our concerns in our selection and early planning process,” said hospital CEO Alan Bird. “We furthered our trust with Neenan as you walked us through the planning process to size our facility to our borrowing capacity and then walked us through the scope and estimates of costs for our project within our budget.”