Construction is underway on a new hospital and health center in northwest Iowa. The groundbreaking in Sioux Center was held last week on what will be a 19-bed facility. Hospital C.E.O. Kayleen Lee says they’ve been working on the plan for many years.

“The building committee was formed in 2006 and there was talk before then,” Lee says. “It takes a little bit of time to put together a project of this magnitude. It’s a $48-and-a-half-million dollar project and community involvement was really important for us.” Lee says the panel worked with local groups to find out what types of medical services were most needed — and wanted.

Through community focus groups, they learned people wanted more outpatient services and more specialists so they could get services close to home, in addition to wellness opportunities. Lee says they hope to move into the new facility by the end of next year.

By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton