Franklin County Medical Center (FCMC) is driving economic growth in Preston and Franklin County with some major expansion projects. The medical facility outgrew its existing building and is in the middle of a $10 million addition that is just shy of 15,000 square feet.
The growth was a contributing factor in purchasing a Main Street business, Fashion Center. The medical facility is in the process of remodeling the store into a FCMC Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center. They hope to attract local athletes and some from surrounding communities to use their Sports Medicine Center. The new facility is being patterned after similar facilities in the area.
The medical center also leased other buildings to house some of their peripheral services like Public Relations\ Marketing and Developmental Disabilities.
“FCMC is now a campus because it is not just one building, we are growing a lot. It’s pretty exciting,” said Tracy Jensen a member of the hospital’s marketing team. “Our new building will help us be a lot more functional than the existing hospital.
“There is also a privacy issue,” said Jensen. “Our operating room waiting area has a full view of the emergency room, so guests waiting for surgery patients can see what’s happening in the Emergency Room.”
“We’ve tried to put curtains up for a temporary solution,” said Allyson Wadsworth, another member of the marketing team. “The addition is all about efficiency. We had the same architect, VCBO Architecture, who designed our earlier remodeling project, design our addition.”
Another driving factor for the addition was the ability for more specialty doctors from outside of Preston to come to FCMC to see patients. When construction is finished, there will be more room to accommodate visiting physicians.
“The future for the medical industry is more outpatient services; the addition will help free up hospital beds for people that need more time in the hospital,” said Jensen.
“It’s amazing, I’ve been at the hospital over 20 years and never seen such progress,” Jensen said. “The community has been great to support us.”
Colleen Jensen, who has been at the hospital for three years, is over the Medical Specialty Clinic which is expanding the clinic space. She plans on adding a room and reorganizing the area to accommodate the needs of more specialty doctors.
“We have more surgeons and specialty doctors wanting more time up here,” Jensen said. “The Medical Specialty Clinic will have more rooms so doctors can do what they need to do.”
She also handles the patient load for the surgeons.
The growth of the FCMC has pushed it to be the top employer in the city, ahead of the Preston School District. For years they were behind the school district in the number of employees, but with the hospital expanding their services they will likely be the top employer in the city.
Wadsworth, who is also on the Preston City Council, said FCMC is one of the main hubs of Preston and the Medical Center is definitely a huge factor in the local economy.
FCMC acquired financing of $8.8 million, backed by the USDA, with absolutely no liability to Franklin County residents. The company secured a $1 Million loan from Lewiston State Bank to begin the process.