MUSCATINE, Iowa–After announcing plans to replace the building housing the UnityPoint Clinic on Mulberry in April of 2021, the Community Foundation has advanced the project further, sharing the first concept drawings and tentative timelines for construction. When completed, the building will provide a modernized healthcare facility designed with the goal of better meeting the needs of patients and healthcare professionals.
Originally built in 1975, the current clinic building came about as the culmination of local private efforts to provide more healthcare facilities in Muscatine. The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine took over the building from the Muscatine Health Support Foundation in 2017 and has continued to lease it to UnityPoint Trinity Muscatine Hospital, using the money raised from rent to fund various grants.
At 47-years-old, the Community Foundation considered replacing the building entirely a more effective option than continuing to refurbish it. “The existing building has served the community well for the last 47 years, but it definitely needs repairs,” acknowledged Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine Community Relations Manager Jamie Leza.
The new, three-story clinic building will facilitate what Leza described as a, “patient-centered medical home,” model. Inside the new building, patient care rooms and staff work areas will all reside near each other, promoting easy communication between every member of a care team. The facility will still connect up to the main hospital, ensuring patients have easy access to more advanced care, should they need it, as well as to the laboratory.
Currently, the Community Foundation estimates that it will cost $14 million to construct the new physician clinic. They intend to cover this cost through a combination of money from the Muscatine Health Support Fund, $875 thousand contributed from Muscatine County’s American Relief Plan Act funding, additional grants, as well as a local fundraising campaign which they plan to unveil soon.
Currently, the Community Foundation has nearly complete plans for the new building and will soon start gathering bids from contractors so that work on the project can begin. Leza anticipates that the Community Foundation will break ground for the new building this summer, with the goal of finishing work and moving current physician clinics into the completed building in the fall of 2023. Because the new physician clinic building will go up next to the current one, clinic staff and patients will not experience any interruptions while construction takes place.
As planning for the new clinic building moves forward, Leza feels excited about the new facility’s potential and believes that it will help the Community Foundation continue to work with the hospital to provide high quality healthcare to people in Muscatine County. “I feel great–health is one of the Community Foundation’s major focus priorities,” Leza said. “We thought a new facility would help one of our goals of recruiting and retaining providers in our rural community.”
Leza also appreciates the continued cooperation with UnityPoint Trinity Muscatine Hospital that have made it possible to construct and put into service a new clinic building. “I think it’s a really unique model,” she observed, as few communities have such strong collaboration between their non-profit organizations and local healthcare providers.