Hospital expansion opens in Cresco - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Hospital expansion opens in Cresco

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CRESCO, Iowa (KTTC) -- Regional Health Services of Howard County opened phase one of its new facilities on Wednesday. Upon its opening, the hospital earned an accreditation of the first hospital in the state to be designated "baby-friendly."

The World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund started the "baby-friendly" hospital initiative in 1991 to teach new mothers consequences of formula feeding and ultimately reduce infant mortality rates.

"What has been shown is that increasing the ability for moms and babies to bond and breast feed decreases incidence of illness in babies in their early life," said RHSHC CEO, Robin Schluter.  "After talking to the community, we wanted to hear what their needs were. There was an increase request for more patient privacy so we have increased patient privacy in every setting within the facility."

Regional Health Services of Howard County has been providing healthcare services in Cresco for 110 years. The last time the current facility on Eighth Avenue West was renovated was about 20 years ago. The new renovations provide residents of Howard County a local health care option, otherwise many would have to travel nearly 30 minutes to other hospitals.

"It's a Godsend, really," said Ronda Hughes, a longtime Cresco resident. "My father-in-law was brought in here to emergency Saturday night. It's just key to survival, to comfort, to concern. I think having that is just an asset that is invaluable to every citizen here in the area."  

In addition to being "baby-friendly," the hospital's completion of phase one includes eight new patient rooms, same-day surgery center, therapy area and gymnasium.  The total project will cost about $16 million, which includes the cost of construction, engineering fees, furnishings and equipment.

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