It has been just over three years since Fayette Regional Health System declared bankruptcy and officially closed their doors. Since the closure, Richmond-based Reid Health has been providing health care services to those who need it most in the small city of Connersville, Indiana. Now, a new health care facility is bringing life to a vacant lot on the town’s northeast side.
On October 19, community leaders, members from a local Boy Scout troop, students, enthusiastic locals, and many more gathered to help mark the formal beginning of a project that will continue to bring access to care to the rural town. After a successful three years, the Connersville branch of Reid Health will be implementing a $100 million facility over the next two years. To some, it may just be a ceremonial turning of the dirt, but to Connersville, it is renewed hope.
“Three years ago, we made a commitment to ensure access to a variety of high-quality health care services for years to come in Fayette County,” said Reid Health CEO Craig Kinyon. “This project is the latest example of how we’re honoring that pledge. This will be a modern, state-of-the-art facility that is tailored to meet the community’s needs.”
Sen. Jeff Raatz (R-Richmond) says he is honored to represent a community whose health care facility stepped up to answer the call.
"When I first heard the existing hospital in Fayette County was closing, I immediately had concerns regarding a potential health care desert in Fayette County,” Raatz said. "Reid Health could have chosen to provide certain services locally and sent patients to Richmond, but chose to build a brick-and-mortar, state-of-the-art facility in Connersville. Thankfully, the community will continue to have access to quality health care, and I want to express my appreciation for the vision and actions of Reid Health and their board of directors for investing in the health of Hoosiers in eastern Indiana."
When completed in 2024, the building is expected to be a two-story, 177,000-square-foot outpatient facility that will serve as a replacement for the 100-year-old campus that now stands at 1941 Virginia Ave. When it comes to affordability, Reid officials say starting over with a new facility is the most efficient, cost-effective solution for the problems posed by the Virginia Avenue complex, which has space limitations and needs expensive repairs.
The new facility will include an Emergency Department with a helipad, radiology and laboratory services, and a mix of primary and specialty care options for patients. Some of those services are expected to include cardiology, oncology, OB/GYN, orthopedic, cardio-pulmonary rehab, podiatry, rehab services, audiology, sleep disorder services, wound healing, and ear, nose, and throat services.
However, it is more than just providing help to a community in need. In addition to enhancing the health and well-being of the communities it serves, Reid Health Connersville also contributes significantly to the area’s economic health. In 2021, the estimated total annual economic impact by Reid Health Connersville was $50,920,776. The organization employs 151 health care professionals, with a total payroll of $9,157,830. Hospital payroll expenditures serve as an important economic stimulus, creating and supporting jobs throughout the local and state economies.
“Investment in rural health is critical and without Reid’s ability to take on this commitment, we would have lost a community anchor providing key jobs and economic stability for Fayette County and surrounding areas,” said IHA President Brian Tabor. “But most importantly – we would have lost the comfort and confidence of local residents knowing they have access to high-quality health care – when and where they need it – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”