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$11.3 million project that will house Public Health and Mosaic Medical should be move-in ready by next April

HOLLY SCHOLZ/MADRAS PIONEER - Skanska USA Building Inc. Superintendent Jacob Struck led Jefferson County leaders on a walk-through tour of the Jefferson County Health and Wellness Center construction site Thursday, Aug. 26. Pictured left to right: Jefferson County Commissioner Mae Huston, Struck, Public Health Director Michael Baker, and Commissioner Wayne Fording.

Jefferson County leaders donned hard hats and neon vests Thursday afternoon for a construction site tour of the Jefferson County Health and Wellness Center.

The $11.3 million project broke ground in April next to St. Charles Madras on Northeast A Street and should be move-in ready by April 2022.

"This is more than just a new building. This is truly an attempt by all the partners to prioritize health in Jefferson County," said Jefferson County Public Health Director Michael Baker. "From a Public Health perspective, this is how the healthcare system should work!"

Skanska USA Building Inc. Superintendent Jacob Struck led the walk-through, which included Baker; Jefferson County Commissioners Wayne Fording, Mae Huston and Kelly Simmelink; County Building and Grounds Director Blake Fonnesbeck; County Administrative Officer Jeff Rasmussen; and Public Health employee Johnathan Courtney. Compass Project Solutions Inc. Project Manager Luis Mendoza-Landa also joined the tour.

HOLLY SCHOLZ/MADRAS PIONEER - Construction began in April. The facility should be move-in ready in April 2022.The Jefferson County Health and Wellness Center is a single-story 20,936-square-foot building adjacent to the St. Charles Medical Center that will be shared by Jefferson County Public Health and Mosaic Medical, a private, nonprofit community health center. The project also includes constructing utility, transit, and parking infrastructure to support additional buildings for health and wellness needs.

The framing is nearly complete, a temporary roof has been installed, and construction crews are preparing to sheetrock the facility.

"Although we have had material delays, the project has been able to stay on schedule," Struck said.

Public Health will occupy the south portion of the facility, and Mosaic Medical will occupy the north portion. On the county side of the facility, features include offices, a community room, restrooms, a teaching kitchen, clinic exam rooms, and a medical clinic lab. The Mosaic Medical side will include clinic spaces, a pharmacy and a dental service area.

Skanska USA Building is the construction manager and general contractor, and Compass Project Solutions is the owner's representative. BBT Architects serves as the design team lead.

Nearly half of the funding for the project, $5.4 million, comes from a lottery bond. Jefferson County contributed $2.5 million, and Mosaic Medical provided nearly $1,940,000. St. Charles donated the land for the project for the project, valued at $500,000. A Health Resources and Services Administration Capital Assistance for Disaster Response and Recovery Efforts grant provided $945,000. A $60,000 grant from the Bean Foundation will allow enhancements to the community room and outdoor plaza.

By consolidating the medical system into a single campus, the county anticipates that services will be more easily accessed by low- and moderate-income families. Mosaic Medical and Jefferson County Public Health will also be able to avoid the need to acquire expensive, duplicate equipment.

PHOTO COURTESY OF STRUCTIONSITE - An Aug. 26 aerial view of the Jefferson County Health and Wellness Center construction site.Baker noted that Jefferson County has continuously been ranked near the bottom of the County Health Rankings since 2011 when the system was developed. He said a lot of health issues are directly tied to health behaviors. Smoking, inactivity, and STDs top the list of health behaviors that have a negative impact on health.

"With the hospital, a rural health clinic, and public health all on the same site, plus a local clinic right across the street, we can coordinate services to ensure a full health review and not just treat the symptoms," Baker said.

The provider-to-client ratio should be one provider for every 1,000 residents. Jefferson County has one provider for every 2,200 residents.

"As we will be all on the same site, we can leverage access to each provider and ensure issues are addressed promptly and not allowed to continuously decline," Baker said. "There is now a 'No wrong door to healthcare' as we can directly coordinate patient care."

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