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Work progresses on new Gundersen Tri-County Hospital

Work on the new Gundersen Tri-County Hospital and Clinic in Whitehall is ahead of schedule, officials with the organization say, as the facility is projected to open in late summer or early fall after beginning construction in February 2022. And thanks to a $1 million federal grant, secured with the help Sen. Tammy Baldwin and former Rep. Ron Kind, the hospital will be outfitted with a solar panel array, which will help the organization cut down on its energy use and, in turn, lower the cost of healthcare of its patients.

“We’re excited that they were able to do that for us,” Gundersen Tri-County in-patient director Deb Frye said of the elected officials’ work. “The solar panel array will help us maintain some clean energy and reduce out energy output costs. The panels are projected to pay for themselves in 12 years.”

The use of solar energy isn’t a new concept for Gundersen Health System, as the renewable energy type has been incorporated into other recent building projects. This initiative aligns with Gundersen’s commitment to providing care close to home while improving the overall health of the communities it serves. Doing so not only reduces Gundersen’s carbon footprint, but it lowers costs, which can be passed on.

“It’s part of our goal to save money for ourselves and to pass that off onto our patients as well,” said Tri-County facilities operations manager Kevin Burright, who’s worked closely with the contractor, Kraus Anderson, on the project.

Not only will the new facility ensure quality healthcare for patients and their families, but Tri-County officials also view it as a benefit for the entire community, as it’s expected to draw people into Whitehall who, in turn, may visit other businesses.

“We’re excited that the new hospital should bring people into our community,” Frye said. “While they’re here in town, they’ll probably want some lunch or head downtown to visit our local businesses.”

And it all may be happening as soon as this summer, which couldn’t come soon enough.

“Our future is looking bright; we’re so excited to get into this brand-new hospital,” Frye said. “There’s a lot of work to be done yet before we get to that point, but we’re going to be able to offer a beautiful new facility, better healthcare and a better connection to our patients. We can’t wait.”

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