New hospital to open in early 2023

Contributed photo
Minnesota Senator Tina Smith visited the construction site of the new Tri-County Health Care Hospital in rural Wadena. 

On August 23, Senator Tina Smith and members of her staff, staff from Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office, and representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture gathered for a special tour of the new Tri-County Health Care facility (Astera Health). The tour was led by Mortenson and Tri-County staff.

Officials were able to get a special peek behind the almost finished structure. In less than 100 days, construction will be completed with the remaining work focusing on interior finishing. Mortenson Project Manager Jessica Deitner brought the small group down the freshly drywalled corridors and hallways, stopping to point out special aspects of the construction. Deitner pointed out the complex negative pressure system present in the new facility. This system will slow the spread of airborne illnesses by constantly filtering in clean air throughout the facility. 

Sen. Smith and members of the USDA conversed with Mortenson and Tri-County Health Care staff while pointing out recently finished portions of the project, like the large picture windows that extend alongside the building. During the design process, HGA Architects wanted to create a space for medical intervention as well as healing, eschewing traditional institutional design. Their design called for a great deal of natural light and large windows. 

“Gratified to see the focus on a great patient experience,” remarked Sen. Smith while she stood in front of the future main entrance. During the tour, President, and CEO Joel Beiswenger, conducted a small presentation where he described the journey of the new facility. 

From its early pandemic struggles to now being almost two weeks ahead of schedule. 

“Our Tri-County family is in a state of total change. For many, change is frightening, but I see it as an opportunity for us to evolve into an even more efficient, impactful organization,” said Beiswenger.

The purpose of this visit was to observe the progress of the new facility and witness the impact that Tri-County Health Care has on the surrounding area. Specifically, representatives from the USDA wanted to hear just how programs positively impact rural communities like Wadena. During the tour, much discussion centered on how Tri-County Health Care is an economic force in the area, being one of the main employers and community partners for the City of Wadena. Beiswenger also spoke about the enormous part the USDA played in the financing for this new building project and other projects in the past.  

The grand opening of the new facility is tentatively planned for Spring 2023. For more information on the new building please visit TCHC.org and follow Tri-County Health Care on social media for regular updates.