Houston County Hospital RenovationsHouston County, Tennessee
Houston County, located in rural western Middle Tennessee, is home to the county seat of Erin and the communities of Tennessee City, Stewart and McKinnon. Erin is known for its annual Irish Days Parade and Arts and Crafts Festival and the Houston County Farmers and Artisans Market that are sponsored by the Houston County Chamber of Commerce. Residents are loyal to their local events and institutions which provides stability for the on-going success and viability of local amenities and services.
Houston County’s government owns and operates the Houston County Community Hospital in Erin that provides general medical and surgical care services. The small healthcare facility is a critical asset in this rural county and isolated area of Tennessee. Maintaining and supporting the continued operation of the hospital and local medical services is a top priority of the county’s government and business leadership.
County officials and hospital administrators have been successful in identifying resources to insure the facility’s continuing operations. In the wake of many changes and challenges to rural healthcare delivery and the economic viability of rural hospitals across Tennessee, their successful collaborative leadership is an important community asset. In 2016, Houston County leaders saw the opportunity to apply for TNECD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to make improvements to the facility. This strategic investment would insure that the hospital was up to date and in compliance. Local leaders know that the local hospital and medical community that it anchors not only provides residents with access to comprehensive medical services, it is a critical economic driver for the rural community.
Houston County Hospital Improvements
CDBG funding has traditionally been used in Tennessee for basic public infrastructure projects including water and sewer projects. Health and safety projects have also routinely been funded, but most of those have focused on the purchase of ambulances or fire trucks. Houston County was committed to having continued hospital operations locally and called together a group of interested parties and partners in 2016 to discuss their needs and possible funding sources. Though CDBG funds had never been used for hospital renovations, because the hospital was owned by the local government and the health and public safety benefits could be clearly outlined, TNECD worked with the county government to submit an application.
In 2017, Houston County was awarded CDBG funding to complete much needed renovations. The goal of the CDBG project was to provide renovations at the Houston County Community Hospital so the hospital could continue essential medical care services which will improve and sustain the quality of life for the community. The scope of project included the renovation of the Emergency Room, Waiting Room, Clinic Area, and Hallway including floors, walls, ceilings and lighting; installation of a new boiler and generator with panel board and transfer switch; and build-out of unfinished space to complete two offices. All of these renovations and upgrades were deemed essential to keep the building in compliance and to support current demands and operations.
In 2018, project activities completed included demolition work in preparation for the actual rehabilitation and installations. During the process, the contractor has kept the this part of the hospital taped off from the wings of the hospital that are still in use in order to maintain dust control in the active portion of the hospital. This construction technique is an important best practice that has allowed the hospital to continue normal operations and generate revenues. Completion of the actual renovations and facility system upgrades are projected to be completed in 2019.
Successful completion of the Houston County Community Hospital renovations will better serve the county and its two municipalities with an updated, well maintained medical facility. Improvements will upgrade critical portions of the hospital to maximize all available floor space and replace vital electrical and mechanical systems for the entire facility. The project will greatly assist Houston County leaders in retaining and maximizing all currently available medical services and preparing their locally-owned hospital to add future health care services and equipment in keeping with future demand and technology requirements. Projected beneficiaries and community impacts include:
|Low and Moderate Beneficiaries||5004|
|2018 Emergency Room Patients Served||4433|
|2018 Patient Days/Hospital Stays Provided (including Swing and Inpatient)||178 Hospital Stays/1,475 Patient Days*|
|2018 Annual Hospital Revenue||$2,620,844|
|2018 Hospital Employees (full-time and part-time)||76|
|TNECD CDBG Grant||$315,000|
|Houston County Government||$35,000|
|Total Houston County Community Hospital Project Funding (Projections for state grant funding and local investments)||$350,000|
Project Leadership and Partners
Houston County Community Hospital – Administrator – Project Contact
Houston County Government
Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
For project information contact the Houston County Community Hospital.
TNECD Community Development Programs
TNECD provides administration for state and federal Community Development programs. The TNECD Community Development Block Grant program provides grant funding for community and economic development projects including water and sewer system improvements and extensions, owner-occupied housing rehabilitation, health and safety projects, and commercial façade improvements.
For more information visit TNECD Community and Rural Development.