Building Project
Questions & Answers

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WHY ARE OUR HOSPITAL AND CLINIC SO IMPORTANT?

Rural hospitals mean so much to the communities they’re in, and Ellinwood Hospital and Clinic is no exception.

Besides the obvious healthcare impact that we provide, there is a substantial economic impact.

 

Let’s crunch the numbers and see what it means to have our hospital to care for us:
  • 94 total employees
  • 7 family care providers
  • 1 general surgeon
  • As the largest employer in Ellinwood, we are an important part of the local economy, bringing skilled staff and their families to town.
  • Over 65% of our staff live locally.
  • $6.78 MILLION in income impact from direct payroll
  • $4.91 MILLION in direct payroll to employees
  • $1.96 MILLION in local retail sales from direct payroll
  • $580,766 in locally sourced purchases and capital investments
WHERE ARE WE BUILDING THE NEW FACILITY?

We are building on land at the corner of U.S. 56 Hwy and Park Street, across from the golf course and packing plant. The move will save somewhere between $700,000 and $1.1 million in construction costs, shorten the construction timeline, and provide the hospital with room to grow in the future. The expenses on rebuilding on the current site, not to mention safety and access issues, are prohibitive, so we identified an ideal location and the City of Ellinwood and the landowners worked with us to come up with a solution that benefits not only our patients but Ellinwood as a whole. Imagine that beautiful building as you drive in/out of town, demonstrating to visitors and potential residents the growth of our community and the vitality of Ellinwood!

HOW CAN WE AFFORD THIS?

Years ago, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recognized a challenge in our rural communities: very few facilities had the funding needed to address the major renovations that were needed to provide smaller communities the ability to address even basic needs facing healthcare in the rural environment. They created a loan program that would work hand-in-hand with the Critical Access Hospital (CAH) program to provide long-term, low-interest loans to facilities that were capable of fulfilling the obligation of payments. One of the requirements of this loan program is a provision that at least 50% of the work be new construction. This provision allows for a greater level of depreciation, and consequentially a greater level of reimbursement from the CAH program. The administration of the hospital and clinic and the Board of Trustees of the Ellinwood Hospital District have been working for over two years to complete the due diligence needed to secure one of these loans from the USDA. This includes market studies, architectural, engineering, and environmental reports, comprehensive master budgets, and in-depth financial feasibility studies. Aft er thorough review, we are confident that we can secure the USDA loans using revenue bonds.

WHAT IS A REVENUE BOND?

A revenue bond is a municipal bond distinguished by its guarantee or repayment solely from the revenues generated by a specified revenue-generating entity (our hospital) associated with the purpose of the bonds rather than a tax. Besides a General Obligation (GO) bond, this is the second most secure type of municipal bonds, making them very attractive to investors. Even with a slightly higher interest rate, this is a better option than raising property taxes within the district.

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

A replacement hospital is a necessity. Our 70-year-old building is past her prime - and she’s served us well, but medicine and regulations have changed. We don’t meet code. Our facility was built in 1952 with a completely different set of building and healthcare codes. Improvements over the years have not (and cannot) overcome this issue. We will no longer be allowed to operate under a “grandfather clause” for code compliance. We’re out of space. We have squeezed every square inch of patient care into our building - even moving some offices to other buildings to allow more room for new or expanded services. Our capability to grow is severely limited by a lack of space. Th e delivery of healthcare has changed. Today’s equipment and care models don’t fi t into yesterday’s buildings with low ceilings, cramped rooms, and tiny doorways. Other reasons include design eff ectiveness and efficiency. It costs just as much to remodel our facility as it does to replace it. Even if we did remodel, we would be left with the infrastructure issues we inherit in our buildings. 

 

BUT WHY NOW?

As of January 1, 2026, our facility must be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and all federal life and safety codes or it must close. Construction and move-in must be completed by the deadline or our licenses to deliver care will be revoked, and we as a community can’t aff ord to lose our hospital or clinic.