Since 1916, the Mary Greeley Medical Center has been caring for Ames, even when the population was only about 5,000 people.
Today, the Medical Center is expanding to accommodate the U.S. Census Bureau population estimate of 59,042 people living in Ames, with an estimated budget of $129 million. The project is referred to as the “Extraordinary Visions.”
Capt. Wallace Greeley named the hospital after his wife, Mary Greeley, who died two years prior to the hospital’s dedication in 1916.
“It affords me great pleasure, more than words can express, that I can contribute something toward the welfare of not only those in need now, but also for those who will be here long after we have passed,” Greeley said at the hospital’s dedication in 1916.
The expansion of Medical Center began Sept. 27, 2011. Working along with Shive-Hattery, an architecture firm, three phases were formed for the 210,000 square feet of the new project. These ideas were put in to minimize interruption of patient care recovery.
The expansion is funded by three main contributions; about $63 million from health care revenue bonds, $60 million in Board of Directors designated funds, and a $6 million goal from the Extraordinary Visions Campaign. Currently, the fundraiser campaign is at $5,200,264.
“We’ve managed our finances well and, as a result, are in a strong position to reinvest in Mary Greeley Medical Center,” said Brian Dieter, president and CEO of the Medical Center, on the hospital’s website. “When we reinvest in the Medical Center, what we’re really doing is re-investing in our service area — improving patient care, improving the patient experience, improving the quality of life in central Iowa.”
A new six-story patient tower with a $92 million construction budget is being added.
The tower will provide larger rooms for the medical, surgical and oncology units.
Existing flooring will be updated as well to be connected with the flooring of the tower. Also being added is a support services building to provide a stronger, physical plant for utilities and more. The hospital has an anticipated end date for the first phase for the spring 2014.
The second phase is expected to be finished in fall or winter 2014. The main entrance will be enhanced to make room for a new, covered skywalk. The skywalk will connect the second level of the parking ramp to the second-level main entrance.
The third and final phase is the relocation and expansion of the emergency department. A new drive entrance for ambulances will be added as well.
The completion of this phase is expected to be finished during summer 2015 in time for the 2016 centennial.
Features such as rooftop gardens will be added for a relaxing environment, and larger rooms for patients will include areas dedicated to medical care, patients and visitors.
“This is the largest capital project in our history,” said Steve Sullivan, director of marketing and community relations for the Medical Center.
The hospital does not only serve Story County but the surrounding six counties, thus not only enhancing Ames residents’ health care but that of the encompassing area.
Those involved are hopeful for the future of the hospital in providing excellent care to patients as well as to see how the renovations will enhance its prestige.
“We have architectural renderings of what some aspects of the project will look like, and we have them framed and hanging in one of the foyers in the main entrance of the hospital,” Sullivan said. “You always see people stopping and looking at those pictures.”