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Heart of America Medical Center receives ‘major investment’ for new construction

Submitted Photo Employees of Center Mutual Insurance Company pose for a photo with representatives from Rugby’s Good Samaritan Hospital Association to mark a $750,000 donation by Center Mutual Insurance toward the construction of a new Heart of America Medical Center. From back left are Lance Zietz, Tim Pfiefer, David Aadness, Tim Bonn, Jerry Hatter, Mayson McCabe, Suzy Kraft, Rich Hovland, Randy Deckert, Donna Bundy, Darin Williams, Neil Pedersen and Chuck Shielke. In the middle row from left are Bob Jaeger, Robert Hovland, Ellie Bundy, Jacki Tonnessen, Glory Koenig, Char Hartl, Grey Bymark, Barb Odden, Heart of America Medical Center CEO Erik Christenson, Kristi Volk and Kendall Schieve. In the front row from left are Tom Leonard, Hannah Voeller, Jen Ramsey and Melissa Ripplinger.

A project to build a new Heart of America Medical Center has received a “major investment” in the form of a $750,000 donation from Center Mutual Insurance Company, the hospital announced.

Center Mutual President Rob Hovland said the donation to the Good Samaritan Hospital Association’s capital campaign is larger than any the company has made in its history.

“In the past, our company has contributed a significant amount of money to various school and other community projects, but nothing of this magnitude,” Hovland said.

“Really, the only way we were able to do this is because this is a result of the hard work and dedication of our present and past employees who made it possible to put us in a position to be able to make this contribution,” he added.

Center Mutual employees, board members and Hovland himself have considered HAMC essential to their well-being.

“Eighteen of our 27 employees reside in Rugby,” he said.

Hovland noted Center Mutual’s Board of Directors made the decision to make the three quarters of a million dollar donation because of the company’s interest in keeping Rugby a vital community.

“Obviously, this is a major commitment from our company, but our board recognized that the success of the hospital and clinic is critical to our community, both in terms of the economic impact as well as the quality of life,” Hovland said.

“This project is something our community needs and to make it happen, it’s going to take some commitment and sacrifice from everyone in the community as well as the surrounding area, and the area that the hospital serves,” he added.

Hovland noted HAMC had been a part of his life throughout his childhood in Rugby, when his mother, Kay, worked as director of nursing at the hospital, and later, at Haaland Estates.

Hovland and his family still live in the Rugby area, as do his parents Kay, and Tilman, who taught music for many years at Rugby schools.

With 25,000 policies in force, Center Mutual Insurance serves clients in North and South Dakota.

Construction on the new Heart of America Medical Center should begin in March 2023, according to a statement by Tony Coffman, director of Good Samaritan Hospital Association Foundation.

Land at the site of the new building, located along the Highway 2 frontage road on the east side of Rugby has been cleared and a pad is in place for the building’s foundation.

Coffman said in the statement, “The major investment will underwrite the clinic and cafeteria.”

“With about half the floor space of the existing facility, the new 79,000-square-foot facility will be much more efficient and cost-effective,” Coffman added in his statement.

“Despite the smaller footprint, HAMC plans to continue services now provided, including an Emergency Room, surgery, clinic, extensive therapy services, a 7-bed acute care hospital, and 18-bed eldercare,” Coffman said.

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