Altru and Construction Partners Celebrate Grand Forks Hospital Project Milestone With ‘Finishing Ceremony’ – InForum

GRAND FORKS – On a brilliantly sunny Wednesday afternoon, a crowd gathered to witness the placement of one of the last beams to be installed in the construction of a new Altru hospital just north of the current facility on South Columbia Road.

During the finishing ceremony – a tradition in the construction industry – the 13-foot, 300-pound beam was lifted by crane into place in the frame of the structure’s seventh floor. The steel beam – which is ceremonial, not structural – bears the signatures of approximately 400 Altru Health System employees and approximately 200 construction workers. It will be visible in a hallway of employees.

In a speech at the ceremony, Todd Forkel, CEO of Altru Health System, thanked everyone who worked on this project. He also expressed his gratitude to “the women and men of Altru who stand up every day and give their time and talents in an impressive way. They are the heart of our mission.

Forkel also thanked the many donors who collectively helped “move this project forward and further our mission.”

Half of Altru’s patients come from outside Grand Forks, he said. “It’s a Grand Forks project, but it’s also a regional project.”

Alef Cerrato, left, and Oscar Medina, Sr., react after raising a flag and placing a tree atop the new Altru Hospital Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022.

Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

The closing ceremony is “a special and memorable event,” Kristi Hall-Jiran, head of philanthropy, Altru Health Foundation, told the crowd. The new hospital represents “Altru’s commitment to our community and region” and will provide area residents with proximity to services.

“And close to home is where you want to be,” whether it’s dealing with a life-altering health condition or dealing with routine issues, Hall-Jiran said.

Dr. Josh Deere, new president of Altru Health System, said, “In medicine, moments matter,” noting that design features of the new hospital, particularly related to emergency care, will improve efficiency and quality. care.

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Project team members react as the top beam is lifted during Wednesday’s closing ceremony at the new Altru Hospital.

Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

The new hospital represents “the future of world-class healthcare in this field,” said Josh Kehrwald, Principal Architect at JLG Architects, noting that a hospital is a place “where the highest of highs and the lowest of lows occur – often right next to each other.

This building is designed with an emphasis on “dignity, respect and humility” for the patient and will meet the needs of patients and families, Kehrwald said. In his work on the hospital, which will have 226 approved patient beds, he said, “the passion of Altru’s employees has been inspiring.”

The closing ceremony is “a celebration of all the hard work and effort that individuals, merchants and owners (of Altru) have put in to get us from conception to this point,” said Jon Stoeckman, chief superintendent. of the project to PCL, the general contractor. .

After formal remarks, several health system, city, architectural and project officials put their signatures on the white beam just before it was hoisted into place.

Construction of the $470 million project, which has been underway for several years, was suspended for approximately 18 months as Altru Health System grappled with the extraordinary challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Restarted in September 2021, construction is on schedule, with completion expected in fall 2024, said Stoeckman.

Delivering a congratulatory message to U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer, RN.D., Tom Bruseggard said the new hospital will have more beds, additional space and state-of-the-art technology to meet the healthcare needs of inhabitants of this region.

Emily Berg, speaking on behalf of Sen. John Hoeven, RN.D., said the new hospital “will usher in a new era in regional health care” and praised everyone involved “for their patience, resilience and dedication. hard work that brought this project to reality.”

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