Fundraising Visionaries Brings New Era to Hospital.
A dream came true Monday when the new surgical and diagnostic center at Wickenburg Community Hospital opened for business. Not long ago, the area was just an asphalt lot west of the hospital. That was until a band of visionaries put together a plan to grow WCH into a center which could better serve the needs of Wickenburg area residents.
Spearheaded by WCH Foundation Board chairman Art Ditto and WCH President & CEO Jim Tavary, a campaign to raise funds and expand got underway a few years ago. Due to the generosity of individuals and businesses in the community $7.5 million was raised in funding and pledges. This helped convince the US Department of Agriculture to grant WCH a $16.7million loan. Ten million dollars of the loan went toward construction of the surgical and diagnostic center as well as a new medical office building, and the remainder was applied to refinance existing debt.
The new 10,500 sq. ft. surgical and diagnostic center which opened Monday is equipped with the latest technology and is staffed by two experienced surgeons who practice solely in Wickenburg – orthopedic surgeon Mitch Wagner, MD, and general surgeon Robert Ripley, MD. In addition, approximately 15 staff members are newly hired, including Lisa Erlinger PHD, CRNA, a certified registered nurse anesthetist who will also act as director of the surgical center. Three surgical nurses, two operating room technologists, one scrub tech and one nurse where also brought on board, as well as five support staff for scheduling, billing and other office work, and one new housekeeping staffer. All of the surgical staff have years of experience in their respective fields, according to Director of Clinical and Surgical Services Richard Wedig.
The hospital expansion is a major milestone in the hospital’s growth. Chairman of the WCH Board of Directors Dee Pollock said “This achievement is certainly testimony to the power of great teamwork amongst many people. Makes one very proud to be a part of this team, and I think we are going to see enormous success in the months and years to come.”
The community is invited to celebrate the opening of the Wickenburg Community Hospital surgical and diagnostic center as well as the new medical office building at 4:30 p.m. Aug.18. The names of the buildings will be announced, and an enormous stained glass window made by local artists will be unveiled.
CEO Tavary is looking forward to the opportunity to show the community the finished product and the additional services now available in Wickenburg.
He said, “In a 1999 book, For Common Things, written by Jedediah Purdy, Purdy wrote this: “A marriage of commitment and knowledge produces dignified work”. Since the start of this remarkable project in April 2015, the amalgamation of ideas, creativity, commitment, and knowledge offered by our talented employees and many community and professional partners has resulted in one-of-a-kind dignified outcome. Please came and share this historic moment with us. Because of the generosity and support of many of you, a 15-year absence of surgical and endoscopic services will come to an end this week. Let’s celebrate.”
Originally published in the Wickenburg Sun | written by Jeanie Williams, Editor