MLLINOCKET – Millinocket Regional Hospital’s plans to renovate a Central Street building and parts of Millinocket Regional Hospital to produce a state-of-the-art wellness and physical therapy center got a $1.15 million boost, federal officials said Thursday.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development agency has granted the hospital a $1.15 million, 30-year loan to renovate the hospital, department officials said Thursday.
Under the plan, the White Birch Medical Center at 899 Central St. will be the new site of most of MRH’s occupational and physical therapy work. The hospital’s existing physical therapy space in Medical Office Building 2 at 200 Somerset St. will be converted into office space.
Hospital officials announced the plan in December. They said the physical therapy space is the oldest department in the hospital and had not been renovated since the late 1970s.
Combining the new White Birch with the Facility of Occupational and Rehabilitative Medicine, or FORM, on Connecticut Avenue in a space designed for all services would further improve efficiency while solving the lack of privacy and good work flow at the hospital, they said.
The renovation plan is the second under way in the Lincoln Lakes and Katahdin regions funded by a combination of state and federal grants or loans. A series of renovations worth about $5 million is under way at Penobscot Valley Hospital in Lincoln, including a $350,000 lobby renovation that will begin after the hospital’s new $4.1 million surgical suite is finished.
The $350,000 lobby renovation was paid for by a rural development program grant, and the surgical suite effort received a $3.8 million USDA grant.
Penobscot is a 25-bed critical access hospital that handles about 11,000 admissions and 34,000 outpatients annually in the Lincoln area. It opened in 1973.
MRH serves about 8,520 people in the Katahdin region. The loan will be paid off at 4.5 percent over 30 years.