OZARK – Mercy Hospital Ozark broke ground Thursday on a $5.13 million project that will result in added services, equipment and space.

The 14,759-square-foot project is expected to be completed by November 2019. Franklin County is funding $1.47 million of the cost.

“This expansion project is significant in the face of rural hospitals struggling across America,” said Ryan Gehrig, president of Mercy Hospital Fort Smith. “For us to be celebrating this ground breaking in a rural community is very uncommon and a testament to the partnership and trust that Mercy has developed with Ozark. We couldn’t do this without the community’s support.”

The project will focus on tearing down and rebuilding the east side of the hospital complex that was built in 1952 and included administration offices, physical therapy and the county health department clinic, which has moved to a new location. Construction will result in expanded physical therapy space, new equipment and room for additional outpatient services such as cardiac rehabilitation. During construction, physical therapy and administration offices will be relocated to the medical-surgical area of the hospital.

“The expansion will provide additional access to care for our community as it grows,” said Teresa Williams, regional administrator for Mercy critical access hospitals including Ozark, where she is a longtime resident.

Studio 6 Architects in Fort Smith designed the project. General contractor is SSI of Fort Smith. Black Hills Energy donated $25,000 for the project.

“It gives me great peace of mind that our hospital is here to take care of us and our families 24 hours a day with an expert medical staff,” Ozark Mayor Tommy McNutt said.


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