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Tri-County 2023:
Imagine. Build. Transform.

As the world of health care evolves, Tri-County Health Care continues our devotion to excellence and creating healthier lives for everyone in our community. We are embarking on an exciting transformational journey to create a new $72 million, 123,000 square-foot facility. The design will integrate new technology, create a healthy environment that improves the patient experience and efficiency for staff, and ensure a sustainable future for health care in our area.

Improving The Health Of The Communities We Serve

Ideal Patient Experience

Our mission of improving the health of the communities we serve means our focus is on our patients and the community. The vision for this investment is to promote healing for patients and families while introducing new resources in a more private and efficient setting.

Features & Improvements

Standardized rooms: When all rooms are identical, nurses and providers will always know the layout, from the location of the swabs in the cabinet to the placement of the exam tables. This improves efficiency, safety and allows them to spend more time with their patients. This concept will be featured in the clinic, hospital and outpatient rooms, as well as the surgical suites.

Labor and Delivery: The birth of a child is a wonderful event in the lives of women and their families. Safe, spacious and luxurious delivery rooms will provide moms with whirlpool baths and a family-friendly environment to meet their needs so they can focus on delivering their little one.

Larger Inpatient Rooms: When patients stay in the hospital, family brings comfort and reassurance to a stressful situation. Private rooms will provide generous space and easily accommodate visitors while promoting healing.

Surgical Suites: Larger surgical suites will be designed to allow us to expand the types of procedures currently offered at our facility and accommodate the latest technology.

Universal platform: It’s hard to predict patient volume in areas such as surgery, emergency care and diagnostic imaging. That’s why several outpatient rooms will be created so they can be adapted to meet the immediate needs at hand.

Patient-Focused: A smooth patient experience will begin with a welcoming registration area and lead to a peaceful waiting room. Finally, a private hallway will guide patients to the exam rooms. Staff and provider pathways and workstations are kept separate from patient areas so that the patient receives a streamlined visit.

Community Development: With an innovative design, leading-edge technology and a visible location along Highway 10, the new facility will strengthen both Tri-County Health Care and our communities’ position within the region. This will help to attract and retain the best medical team possible and promote commercial development and partnerships.

Security: The new facility brings a majority of patient care services under one roof and centralizes entry points to allow for better security, safety and efficient navigation for patients, guests and employees.

Safety: The world changed with the COVID-19 pandemic. It did, however, provide new information and research on how these types of illnesses spread. That new knowledge was applied to new mitigation and infection control designs for this new building.


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Virtual Tour

This virtual fly-through/tour shows a rendering of what the new facility will look like.

Imagine. Build. Transform. building project officially resumes

Tri-County Health Care President and CEO, Joel Beiswenger, held a virtual press conference on March 25, 2021. In addition to providing background on the project, he announced the project has officially resumed after being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Future of Health Care

Health care is changing. When Tri-County Hospital was built 50 years ago, inpatient care accounted for 90 percent of our business, and the facility design reflected that care. Patients expected to stay multiple days and needed the right care and environment for their extended stay.

Better technology and enhanced practices have led to shorter hospital stays and allow many post-surgical patients to go home the same day. As a result, our inpatients now only account for 13 percent of our business. This shift means outpatient care is the primary focus.

We believe our patients deserve a facility that is as strong as the communities we serve and reflects the best quality of care they can receive, but the current facility does not meet these expectations. The existing facility, with its disjointed layout offering care in three separate buildings with multiple entry points, is landlocked on four acres and limited in flexibility and expansion possibilities. This isn’t efficient or effective for supporting current or future needs.

In response to the changing health care climate, Tri-County Health Care, in conjunction with input from patients and the community, has designed a bold and forward-looking vision for the new health care center that will serve local communities for the next 50 to 100 years. The proposed facility will be located on a beautiful new property west of Wadena along Highway 10, bringing greater visibility and physically positioning Tri-County Health Care for future expansion as the needs of patients and the community evolve.

Economic Impact

Current Economic Impact = $97 million

With 465 employees and over $37 million in annual wages and benefits, Tri-County Health Care is one of the largest employers in the region. Our health care system contributes to the creation of positions with other organizations that are needed to support the great service we provide to our patients. This activity increases commerce locally in retail sales, housing, home repairs, food, and the purchase of additional services which equates to an additional 124 jobs in the region.

Combined wages, salaries and benefits of all these jobs is over $44 million each year. This is money that goes back into our community. In total, this $44 million turns into more than $97 million as the dollars are handed from one organization to another, resulting in more jobs and more money spent on goods and services.

Economic Impact from Construction = $36.5 million

The construction cost of Tri-County Health Care’s rural health center of the future is budgeted for $52 million. Based on 9 employees per $1 million in construction cost, that means 468 people will receive wages and benefits as a result of this work valued at over $16 million. As those wages and benefits are spent on goods and services and housing, over $36.5 million will be spent in our region above and beyond the cost of the construction.

Future Economic Impact = an additional $9.6 million annually

As Tri-County Health Care works to build its new health care center, scheduled to open in the summer of 2023, it has been forecast that 48 new jobs will be created. An additional $4.4 million in new wages, salaries and benefits will be added to the organization as we expand our service lines. As these dollars cycle through our economy, more than $9.6 million of incremental dollars will flow through various organizations and businesses every year!

Questions From The Community

Q: Will this project increase my taxes?
A: Tri-County does not have the ability to impose or control local taxes. The cost to extend utilities will be paid by Tri-County and is estimated at $3.2 million. Tri-County has also purchased the land directly. It is also important to note the substantial increase in taxes that will be paid by Tri-County. The current property taxes on the Highway 10 land are $2,000 per year. The property taxes paid by Tri-County once the building is built will be estimated to be over $400,000 per year. This will result in a huge benefit to taxpayers!

Q: Will this new modern building increase my cost of healthcare?
A: Tri-County does not charge for healthcare based on the facility. In fact, any changes in rates are based on what the insurance plans will pay us. Since we will have expanded services, there may be care that a patient’s plan covers at a different rate, but that is up to the medical plan that people are under.

Q: What will happen to current buildings?
A: We expect to use approximately 30,000 square feet of our existing space. Much of our non-clinical staff will remain in the current building to continue to utilize the space. There has been a lot of work done in the Wesley building with a new elevator and heating and cooling system, which sets it up for a bright future. We are working with economic development groups to repurpose the Wesley building and the current rehabilitation building. There is no intention of tearing anything down or abandoning these structures.

Additionally, due to COVID-19, our staff have adapted to a virtual world. This change has allowed our organization to become adept at working together even when some staff members are at different Tri-County locations or at home.

Q: Will there be an increase in operating costs while maintaining the buildings on the old site?
A: We have analyzed the data, and overall operational costs are expected to rise. However, our goal is to centralize our staff in portions of the current building to maximize efficiency. Each area in the facility has its own heating and cooling systems, so we will have the ability to focus on staffed portions while maintaining vacant areas.

Q: How will this project be financed?
A: Most of the project will be financed through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its rural development office. This is projected to be about two-thirds of the financing, and TCHC has developed a good working relationship with the USDA having completed a dozen projects with them over the last 20 years. Supplemental financing will be done through a consortium of banks. Additionally, the Tri-County Health Care Foundation has set a philanthropy goal of $3 million to help complete the financing need for the new facility.

Q: Why is the helipad not located on the roof?
A: The new health care facility’s 123,000 square feet will all be located on one level. Having the helipad located on the roof presents several structural and financial challenges. It would require the structure to be built to support more weight, an elevator to be installed and a catch basin to avoid fuel spills. In addition, if a helicopter has mechanical issues, it would require a crane to be removed from the building.

Q: What is the reasoning behind the current design?
A: We have employed a design firm with deep experience in our industry and building design in general. More natural light and views of the outdoors will provide a healing and positive environment for patients and employees. The interior is highly efficient.

Q: What can I do to support our community in this modernization effort?
A: TCHC would be pleased to accept donations of any dollar amount. Visit our Foundation page to learn more about donating. We also appreciate everyone voicing your support to local officials.

Q: Has the project increased in cost after the one-year delay?
A: Costs of materials are expected to be higher than originally anticipated due to inflation for items like general lumber, steel support and drywall. However, the cost of labor went down to offset much of those increases. The overall cost of the project remains approximately the same amount despite the delay.

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    Building Site

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    Located West of Wadena along HWY 10

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    January '20 Community Forums

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    January '20 Community Forums

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    Room Mock-Ups

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    Room Mock-Ups

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    Building Site - Fall 2020

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    Building Site - Fall 2020

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    Building Site - Fall 2020

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    Building Demolition - Fall 2020

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    Site Preparation - Winter 2020

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    Site Preparation - Winter 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has led to health care facilities across the country to shift focus from regular patient flow to preparing for this emergency situation. Tri-County Health Care has taken on a lead role in the efforts for community mitigation efforts in the area. However, this has led to the difficult decision to suspend activities related to continued planning and construction of the new building project, Joel Beiswenger, President and CEO, announced during a virtual press conference on Wednesday morning. The suspension, effective immediately, is expected to delay the process by at least one construction season. Read the full press release here.

We are pleased that the Wadena City Council on 2.11.2020:

  • Approved the Development Agreement
  • Approved the re-zoning of the land
  • Voted to move forward with annexation of the property to have it fully within Wadena city limits

We thank the city leaders for their foresight and support for this important community asset.

Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment
Public Notice Announcing the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)