New Hospital Could Have $140 Million Economic Impact

Tuesday, October 16th 2007, 10:07 am

By: News On 6

EDMOND, Okla. (AP) -- If members of a church approve, Integris Health could soon begin construction on a new hospital in Edmond that officials say could have a $140 million initial economic impact.

The hospital would cost between $40 million and $60 million to build and would have 30 to 60 beds at its planned opening in 2010, although Stanley Hupfeld, the president and chief executive officer of Integris Health, said Monday the hospital could be expanded to 100 beds within 10 years.

The hospital would sit on 24 1/2 acres of land now owned by Henderson Hills Baptist Church and 20 acres now owned by a private individual along Interstate 35 in south Edmond. Integris Health would buy the church's land for $5.33 million, with the deal being contingent on the approval of the church's membership.

The church will conduct a vote this weekend.

"The decision to accept this offer is now in the hands of the congregation, and I have every reason to believe they are going to make a good decision," said Dennis Newkirk, the senior pastor at Henderson Hills.

Edmond Mayor Dan O'Neil said the $140 million figure estimate for the hospital's initial economic impact includes construction costs, number of jobs, average salaries for employees and expected patients.

If built, it will be the second major hospital in Edmond and would include a birthing center, emergency room, intensive care unit, surgery suites and doctors' offices.

"This will add several hundred thousand square feet of development and several hundred new jobs," O'Neil said. "This is a benefit to our community in meeting our health care needs."

Newkirk and Hupfeld said it's possible the new hospital would work with a free health clinic now operated by Henderson Hills. The clinic will move to the church's campus next year, said Kim Swyden, the church's executive pastor.

"As we have dreamed about the use of our undeveloped lands, we have always talked about leaving that to God's vision," Swyden said. "But certainly, a hospital always was near the top of the list. Others have approached us about selling a portion of our land and we have not opened the door to discussion, but this discussion with Integris seemed right."

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