On Friday, Oct. 15, High West Energy presented the Kimball Hospital Foundation with a check for $30,000, moving the Foundation closer to their goal of building a new hospital in Kimball.
The $30,000 donation is part of a team effort between High West Energy, Basin Electric Cooperative, and CoBank. Basin and CoBank increased their charitable matching programs this year to $10,000, and both immediately agreed to match a $10,000 donation from High West.
In August, the High West Energy Board of Directors voted unanimously to make the $10,000 donation from the cooperative’s unclaimed fund. This account holds money that High West attempted to return to our members through our patronage dividend program. When members don’t claim the money, it goes into an account that can only be used to support local organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life in the communities served by High West.
Kevin Thomas has been on High West’s board of directors for nearly six years, and as one of two board members from Nebraska, he knows what an important role this hospital has played in the Kimball community and surrounding areas.
“My fellow board members acted quickly and unanimously when we saw the opportunity to help support bringing a new, modern hospital to Kimball,” said Thomas. “For more than 80 years, this co-op has been committed to improving the quality of life in this region. We’re grateful to our partners for matching our donation. And we’re proud to work with the hospital to enhance the quality of health care available to our members, and this project will also provide a strong economic boost to the community.”
Kimball Health Services has been developing plans to replace the 70-year-old hospital, and they hope to break ground next year. While the original hospital has served a vital purpose, but it allows the hospital virtually no space to grow to meet current demand, or to meet an ever-increasing standard of care. The hospital has received generous support from donors throughout the region.
“The Kimball Hospital Foundation is so very appreciative of High West Energy and their partners Basin Electric and CoBank for their support of our new hospital project in Kimball,” said Kerry Ferguson, the Foundation Director. “These gifts will give a wonderful boost to our fundraising efforts.”
High West partnered with CoBank and Basin one year ago to make a donation to the hospital as a show of support for the efforts of the healthcare professionals during the pandemic. When the opportunity to make a more significant donation presented itself in 2021, a group of people at these three organizations quickly mobilized and coordinated their efforts.
“These doctors, nurses, technicians, office staff, and hospital administrators faced an incredible challenge, and somehow they rose to meet that challenge,” said Jared Routh, High West’s CEO. “They worked tirelessly to help people deal with the pandemic while also tending to people’s everyday medical needs. We’re more than happy to show our gratitude with this donation, and we thank our generous partners at CoBank and Basin for their embodiment of the co-op spirit.”
The new facility will be located at the current Kimball Health Services North Campus. Construction is scheduled to begin in March, and completion is expected in the summer of 2023. It will include an 18,000 square-foot renovation of the former West Elementary School building, an 1,800 square-foot basement renovation, and the construction of a new single-story, 40,358 square-foot hospital just east of the current structure.
Key improvements to the new hospital will include:
- Larger inpatient rooms and bathrooms to meet current federal standards
- Widened major corridors
- The addition of in-house MRI and CT scanner services
- Additional patient services such as mammography, cardiac rehabilitation, chemotherapy infusions, orthopedic procedures and expanded surgical options.
- An updated surgical suite and more space for preoperative and postoperative procedures
- An expanded physical therapy department, including a walking track and kitchen for home-based activity therapy.
- An expended emergency room department, with additional exam rooms and a covered ambulance bay.
- A helipad and numerous other improvements.