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  • Writer's pictureWCCTA

Webster-Calhoun Supports Stewart Memorial Community Hospital Renovations

Lake City, Iowa - On Wednesday, November 9, 2022, Webster-Calhoun Cooperative Telephone Association (WCCTA) awarded grant funds to Stewart Memorial Community Hospital (SMCH) in support of their Putting People First campaign. A $31 million expansion and renovation project, Putting People First, aims to enhance the overall patient experience, broaden available healthcare services, recruit and retain the best medical staff, and be a catalyst for economic development. WCCTA's contribution of $5,000 was matched through Aureon's Ripple Effect grant program for a total gift of $10,000. These funds will be used to cover engineering costs associated with the expansion.

Stewart Memorial Community Hospital has been serving the community since it opened its doors in 1962. The last significant construction project for the facility was 30 years ago. The board of trustees and the administration identified three areas of concern: safety, efficiency, and privacy/confidentiality. The Putting People First campaign was developed to address these issues by expanding the Emergency and Physical Therapy departments, and therefore the hospital’s capacity to serve the community. Once the project is completed, the ER and rehab services department will be three times larger than the previous space, and each will have private rooms or treatment rooms. The new ER location will be closer to the patient wing, increasing availability and efficiency for nursing staff. There will also be a new main entrance, a new emergency entrance and a dedicated helipad to increase the efficiency of emergency traffic flow.

Much of the construction for the remodel is underway, and the hospital has made significant strides towards completing the project. With plans to have construction completed in late 2023, SMCH has raised over $2,000,000 in local funds. However, there is room for additional support. If you are interested in knowing more about this project, please contact, Jesse Underwood at

(Left to right) SMCH board members Mary Lauver, Marcie Boerner, and Joyce Schleisman, DON Amy Schumacher, board members Kathy Baker, Jean Blum, Chuck Schmitt, and Jo Grodahl, CEO Cindy Carstens, CFO Jim Henkenius, Ripple Effect Program Director Ethan Pitt, and SMCH Foundation Director Jesse Underwood pose in the hospital's new emergency room entrance.

Webster-Calhoun Cooperative Telephone Association (WCCTA) provides Internet, landline telephone, Wifi, and television service to 20 rural communities in North Central, Iowa, including Lake City. As a certified Gig Capable provider from NTCA, The Rural Broadband Association, WCCTA can provide up to Gigabit and symmetrical Internet speeds.

Aureon is a premier business solutions provider, with expertise in IT services, consulting, and customer care. For details, please call 888-387-5670.

Developed through a partnership alliance between Aureon and Iowa Area Development Group (IADG), the Ripple Effect program helps Independent Telecommunication Companies, and the communities they serve, become catalysts for advancing the economic health and vitality of rural Iowa.

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