Archived Story

EL hospital begins capital campaign [UPDATED]

Published 9:10am Tuesday, December 18, 2012 Updated 11:13am Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Prairie Ridge Hospital and Health Services is announcing a kickoff campaign to raise $2 million in local donations in support of building a new Critical Access Hospital, which broke ground, Friday, Oct. 12.

“For the last 50 years our community’s hospital has been a county asset due to the foresight and planning of a lot of great people back in the 1950s,” said Gene Wenstrom, Board Chair for Prairie Ridge Hospital. “So now it is our responsibility to help the next generation by building a new, modern facility.”

“History has shown how the need for continuing to provide our local communities with accessible and modern healthcare is paramount,” said Wes Moir, vice-chair of Prairie Ridge Board of Directors, “our very own honorary fundraising chair, Harold Mohagen, has seen this within his own family and has since dedicated his time and energy to make certain there will be a long-standing legacy for generations to come. His father, Lars, served on the original building committee in 1961.”

Local fund raising is part of the requirement of the USDA commitment to build a 53,000-square-foot hospital. Equipped with the latest technology, the new facility will include a surgery suite, an endoscopy room, 15 exam rooms and two procedure rooms. There will also be ten hospital rooms and four observation rooms. All rooms will be private. A state-of-the-art therapy area, laboratory and cutting-edge Radiology, Dietary and Emergency departments are also part of this exciting plan.

As part of the loan package from the USDA, a qualification of support from the communities in which it serves was essential. The USDA was impressed by the communities’ drive and strong support for keeping healthcare local. Once it was determined there was community support, the USDA required Prairie Ridge to make a commitment to begin a community partnership through fundraising. The funds committed to raise in this community partnership were subsequently not included in the funding which was received from the USDA.

Prairie Ridge Hospital and Health Services, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 Critical Access Hospital, is owned by the communities it serves. The hospital treats more than 25,000 patients annually through its locations in Ashby, Elbow Lake, Evansville, Hoffman and Morris, Minn. The existing hospital in Elbow Lake was opened in 1961.

For additional information, contact Missy Wetterling, Foundation Director, Prairie Ridge Foundation, at 218-685-6788 or

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