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.”

(10) comments

jerry rice

This project is very important for the community and it should be finished as soon as possible. A new medical center means more quality medical services and more people cured. But, everything must be done by the book, using only quality construction materials, products and equipments, like these quality overhead bridge cranes, which can be used for many applications. Only a professional constructor knows how important is to have a strong, high tech equipment and qualified workers to finish a project on time and to deliver great services.

jerry rice

This is a great news for the community and for people who aren't from this area, but search for specific medical care, which can be found only at a certain hospital. Further, every community needs an emergency clinic like the Urgency Room, because there are critical medical cases that need a quick medical response.

John Bowie

They are doing the right thing by expanding the place and now they can offer better healthcare service to people. However, finding a healthcare facility is easy online, if you need a Houston family practice clinic, you can find it online in a jiffy.

Scott Garcia

It is a good news that they are going to expand because this way many people can benefit from the health service they provide. There are many good healthcare clinics available all around including 24 hr emergency clinic in Houston.

John Bowie

The more it gets expanded the better for the local community, now they can offer better service to the people. However, when it comes to health related information there are plenty of online journals which people can refer to upgrade their knowledge. Journal of Clinical Dentistry is one such a journal for dentists.

Andrew Scott

If they have decided to expand then they should consider including more sections here for offering better treatment service to the community. Now one can find all sorts of healthcare facilities online including treatment centers for sports orthopedic injuries like U.S. Athletic Training Center which could be accessed online at

John Bowie

The number of patients is increasing, so they do need to expand their facility to accommodate such large number of patients. However, along with expanding they should also consider offering advanced treatment facilities and diagnostic facilities like digital x-ray imaging.

Scott Garcia

Expansion of such a medical facility is indeed important because it is going to help people find better treatment whenever they need. However, now most medical facilities could be found online such as Hans Wiemann which offers hair transplant in St. Louis.

Martina Trim

Expansion of such an old medical center was necessary because of the growing population. They need to upgrade their facility as well so that they can offer better medical service. However, now many medical facilities are available online, for example, if you need a center that offers treatment for TMJ in Rogers MN, you can find it online in an instant.

John Bowie

Expansion of such a great medical center is essential for all, because the community would be able to access better medical services. However, now one can buy medication and medical devices including Elisa kits online.

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