Lisa Mensah’s ever-present smile either comes natural or she was just exceptionally pleased with what she saw last week at Wickenburg Community Hospital.
The natural smile might be true, but it couldn’t disguise her satisfaction with the construction project.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary (of Rural Development) was in Phoenix last week to speak at a conference and was encouraged to take a side trip to visit the local hospital that had just completed construction of its new Diagnostic and Surgical Center as well as its new Dr. William Firth Primary Care Clinic.
A $17 million loan from the USDA was used to construct the two newest facilities at the hospital after the community raised $7.5 million through local donations.
“We have funded hospitals in the past, but nothing like this,” said the beaming under secretary after completing the 90-minute tour of the hospital and its new additions. “This is beautiful. The physical detail shows thoughtfulness and demonstrates how the hospital intends to provide services to the community for a long time.”
She further explained the reason for their department’s 40-year loans; to make sure applicants plan projects that will help their rural communities in the long term.
Ernie Weatherbee of Phoenix, the USDA’s Acting State Director for Rural Development, said he encouraged Mensah to tour the hospital while she was in the state. He and his staff had worked with the hospital for more than two years in applying for the loan, following up on the loan application and then watching the construction project.
The USDA entourage included three from the Washington, D.C., office and three from the state office.
Stachowicz, Director of Ambulatory Services and Medical Imaging Manager, hosted the first part of the tour – primarily focusing on the hospital’s history and upgraded facilities. Wedig, Chief Clinic and Surgical Services Officer, then took the group through the new Diagnostic and Surgical enter as well as the Firth Primary Care Clinic.
Article originally published in the Wickenburg Sun | written by Kevin Cloe, Publisher/Photographer