Healthy hospitals mirror population growth
Montana State Roundup
Published November 1, 2002 | November 2002 issue
Northwest Montana hospitals are in a building and renovation boom. While
many of the state's 60 hospitals were built in the 1950s and '60s, new
technology and increased health care demands are driving the infrastructure
upgrade. However, the building boom is occurring mainly in northwestern
communities, reflecting the population growth in that part of the state
reported in the 2000 census. For example:
- Kalispell Regional Medical Center has a $45 million expansion plan.
- Whitefish's North Valley Hospital plans to build a new hospital for up to $21 million.
- In Ronan, the St. Luke Community Healthcare Network began a $5 million expansion in 1998 and built a satellite clinic in Polson in 2001.
- St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson dedicated $11 million to remodeling.
And, as a result of a reportedly high rate of lung abnormalities linked to asbestos exposure from the W.R. Grace vermiculite mine in Libby, St. John's Lutheran Hospital is building a $3.5 million expansion, driven by the need for facilities to treat asbestos-related disease.