"If you build it, they will come." The line from "Field of Dreams" has never been more appropriate as the new Prairie City Medical Clinic will be housed on the former Prairie City Ball Fields on the east side of town.
A ground breaking ceremony for the facility, through Pella Regional Health Center, took place June 30 bringing together stakeholders, physicians and community members to celebrate.
"In September of 2017, the staff and physicians of the Prairie City Clinic joined up with Pella Regional Health Center and that was quite a deal and it continues to be," Pella Regional CEO Bob Kroese said. "But what I enjoyed so much was almost immediately after we met, we started talking about things that were really important to us like our faith and the commitment to the care we deliver and with that we felt, hey we have a lot of common right off of the bat. We started talking about what can we do to bring more medical services and providers to the Prairie City area."
Knowing the current facility in use had size limitations, Pella Regional, along with the city and physicians, started to work toward what will eventually be a 7,700 square foot medical facility able to provide primary care, mental health counseling, pharmacy and imaging services.
"This is a very exciting time for both Pella Regional and for the Prairie City community,” Kroese said. “This project has been carefully designed to keep the quality of patient care in mind. I’m very proud of the thought and effort our staff has put into creating an environment that puts the needs of our patients first.”
Greg Ingle, the primary care physician that has been at the Prairie City Clinic for almost 42 years, spoke about how the clinic first came to the community, how it has grown and where he sees it after the doors open in the new facility.
"It was Aug. 1, 1978 that we started with 1,200 square feet, two employees and a community that has been very good to us over the years taking care of us. We've tried to take of them as they have taken care of us," Ingle said. "We've grown and moved and now we have 4,000-5,000 square feet and I've lost count of employees. It is exciting, a lot of good people to work with. Hopefully, this will just be a start of things. We thank the community and look forward to what is happening here and we really think it is just the beginning of bigger things."
A lot of work has already been done by a group of stakeholders committed to the project. A Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO) loan was funded through USDA’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program (REDLG) to help finance almost half of this $3.1 million project.
The program provides zero-interest loans to rural utility providers who in turn re-lend the money at zero interest to local businesses. It is a nationally competitive program and CIPCO’s economic development partner, Iowa Area Development Group (IADG) assists in the application process.
CIPCO and its member cooperatives, Pella Cooperative Electric Association, utilize the REDLG program as one of the economic development tools to promote community development, economic growth and help create and retain jobs in rural Iowa.
"We didn't waste any time moving dirt," Prairie City Mayor Chad Alleger said. "Having a doctors office in our community to service not only our communities but all of the communities around is essential. Building this clinic, for the foreseeable future, our residents will be rest assured we will have the ability to have a nice clinic to go to."
Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or firstname.lastname@example.org