Posted 11/8/2017 in News
Centerville, IA - During the past six years, Mercy Medical Center – Centerville has twice lost power due to ice storms. Evacuating patients wasn’t necessary either time, but President Clint Christianson and medical center leadership wanted to ensure it would never be necessary in the future, either.
This summer the hospital added a $1.4 million emergency generator. “With our new 750-kilowatt generator, we have the capacity to operate virtually everything inside the medical center if we lose power for an extended period of time,” says Christianson. “It gives us a sense of security we didn’t have in the past.”
The hospital’s previous 180 kilowatt emergency generator was close to 40 years old. During Phase 1 of a master facility plan, the board and leadership team prioritized the ability to consistently provide top-quality care to patients, which included obtaining a new backup power source that is part of future plans for a major expansion and renovation to the current hospital.
In a situation such as an ice storm or other severe weather event when people tend to rely most heavily rely on their medical center the new generator provides an extra layer of assurance, not only for members of the community but for medical staff and caregivers as well. In the past, without having the capability to heat the building, the hospital had about 12 hours before needing to address whether to transfer patients and residents from the facility.
Christianson also said that many in the community need oxygen concentrators to breath properly, and those have to be plugged in. “When they lose power at home, they can now look to our hospital as an island of hope, and come here to plug in and continue to receive the oxygen they need to survive, something we weren’t able to offer before,” he added.