Tom Lovett / The Gleaner Henderson leaders join Owensboro Health executives in turning the first shovel of dirt Tuesday morning during groundbreaking for the One Health complex on Barret Boulevard. From left: Henderson Mayor Steve Austin, Owensboro Health Chaplain Bernice McKay-Higgins, interim Kyndle CEO Donna Crooks, One Health Senior Vice President Don Martin, interim One Health President and CEO Greg Strahan, Deborah Nunley, chair of the Owensboro Health board of directors, Henderson Judge-executive Brad Schneider and Henderson County Magistrate George Warren. The building project is expected to take a little more than a year to complete, with a cost in the neighborhood of $23 million.>
Tom Lovett / The Gleaner Greg Strahan, interim president and CEO of Owensboro Health, speaks during groundbreaking ceremonies Tuesday at the future site of the One Health complex on Barret Boulevard in Henderson.>
An artist's rendering of the One Health complex to be built on Barret Boulevard in Henderson.
As Owensboro Health officials broke ground Tuesday on a primary care complex in Henderson, its interim president and CEO Greg Strahan summarized the philosophy of expanding into Henderson: 'We have a mission of healing the sick and continuing to improve the health of the community we serve.'
With those words, and under the glare of a hot Henderson sun, ground was broken Tuesday morning on the $23 million One Healthplex being built on Barret Boulevard.
'This is a great day for Henderson and Owensboro Health,' said Henderson Mayor Steve Austin 'This is going to be a benefit to the whole Western Kentucky area.'
The Henderson Healthplex is one of three Owensboro Health buildings under way throughout the region. The others will be built in Madisonville and Greenville. Ground was broken Tuesday on both of those projects as well.
'One of the things we strive to do is to expand our services to outlying communities where we can be of help,' said Don Martin, senior vice president of One Health. 'We've had a presence in Henderson for some time now ... we're doing the same thing in Madisonville and Muhlenberg County. We see it as our mission to make sure those services are available to patients in a convenient fashion. It's a very big deal to take on the construction of three of these simultaneously. It's a big commitment on the part of the health system and our board.'
The Henderson building will encompass 41,148 square feet and will offer a variety of services including primary care, urgent care, occupational medicine, cardiology, general surgery, orthopedics, urology, ob/gyn, CT, X-ray, 3D mammography and ultrasound. Strahan said the facility will contain its own women's center.
'Henderson is a fairly large and expansive county. Lots of folks in this area, lots of employers, lost of people that are currently using some of our services. If we look at the future of health care, there's a need to be responsible for the health of our region,' Strahan said. 'It's an opportunity for us to provide additional access to care. Whether they come here or go to Methodist Hospital, which we certainly would be advocating. It's not about taking anything away from them because there's a need for a local hospital. We think this will add value to the hospital.'
Henderson County Judge-executive Brad Schneider, who formerly led the economic development group Kyndle, focused on the economic opportunities the Healthplex offers.
'I think it's a tremendous investment — any time a business wants to come in and invest $23 million and change in our community, that's a great thing. It's going to add some jobs and provide more choices,' he said.
Strahan said the facility will employ seven to 10 physicians 'but we could move that number up or down' based on need plus primary and urgent care providers and an additional staff of about 20. The total annual salaries are projected to be $2.2 million to $3.2 million.
Strahan said he hopes to see construction complete by early fall 2017.
'My hope and prayer for this institution and this building in particular is that this building and the work done here will allow the western part of Kentucky, the entire western corridor to be the healthiest people in the commonwealth,' Strahan said. 'That's our goal — to help make people happy and healthy but also give them a quality of care and a low cost of care that make it affordable for people regardless of their income.'