TCMH Inches Closer to Additional Construction

Texas County Memorial Hospital has received word from the Missouri Department of Economic Development that the hospital has been approved for a $298,400 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to benefit the tornado safe room project underway at TCMH.

The city of Houston will receive the funds on behalf of TCMH. The hospital project was one of six community facilities projects in the CDBG program that were funded for a total of $1,394,244 in 2012.

Planning for the tornado safe room was already underway at TCMH. In 2011 TCMH received a $562,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Association to help build a tornado safe room on the TCMH campus.

TCMH pursued the CDBG funds to assist with the construction and finishing details of two community meeting room spaces when there is no threatening weather.

The planned tornado safe room will have 4,000 square feet of climate-controlled space that can be utilized as waiting space during non-threatening weather times. During threatening weather, the room will be capable of sustaining 250 mile per hour winds for two hours as well as providing shelter for up to 462 patients, staff members and community residents. The tornado safe room at the hospital will enhance the hospital’s capabilities for triage during times of mass casualty as well as supplying an additional generator with backup power.

“We truly appreciate this Community Development Block Grant from the department of economic development,” Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH said, adding, “We also appreciate SCOCOG (South Central Ozark Council of Governments) and the City of Houston in working with us to pursue this grant opportunity.”
Murray explained that TCMH will use the additional funds to “capitalize on space for the hospital and for the community”.

“With the tornado safe room’s centralized location we envision using this space for own meeting room needs as well as the needs of different organizations and groups within our community,” Murray said. “The county hospital can be utilized by the county for more than healthcare –related needs.”

The new surgery department also plans to utilize the space as a reception and waiting area for patients and their families.

“There is so much potential for this space to be used every day by many people in our community,” Murray said.

The CDBG funds will also count toward the TCMH Healthcare Foundation’s overall goal of raising $3.2 million through the “Care for Your Future” campaign to build the tornado safe room and a new surgery department.

With the CDBG funds, the Healthcare Foundation has raised $2,375,000 through grants and donations from businesses and individuals.

“Every dollar that’s given is an investment in our county, the hospital and the people of this area,” Murray said. “We are very proud of bringing state and federal funds to this campaign to provide additional benefits to the people of Texas County.”

The hospital’s goal is to build or renovate all patient care areas. A new medical surgical department, radiology suite and emergency room are currently being built. The hospital hopes to begin construction on the tornado safe room in 2013 with plans of completing the project in 2014.

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