Already a subscriber? Log in
- Unparalleled business coverage of the Iowa City / Cedar Rapids corridor.
- Immediate access to subscriber-only content on our website.
- 52 issues per year delivered digitally, in print or both.
- Support locally owned and operated journalism.
MUSCATINE, Iowa – By summer of 2023, the campus of UnityPoint Clinic and UnityPoint Health - Trinity Muscatine at 1518 Mulberry St. will look very different. About $14 million in funding is being dedicated to the construction of a state-of-the-art medical clinic with room for 24 practitioners’ offices, including pediatrics, gynecology, family medicine and internal medicine. The estimated square footage is 42,000 square feet – 12,000 square feet more than the current clinic – but the plans are not yet finalized. The new structure will replace the current clinic but still connect to the Trinity Muscatine hospital. It will occupy part of the area that is now the non-emergency parking so the existing clinic can remain operational during construction. Matt Behrens, regional vice president of clinic operations, UnityPoint Clinic, said serious discussions about replacing the current clinic - built in 1975 - began about six years ago. “We’ve known for some time that the existing facility was in need of upgrades to enhance operations and maximize the patient experience,” he said. “We know state-of-the-art facilities both attract and retain top talent in a practice, and we want to grow our clinical services in Muscatine.” In describing the clinic, Mr. Behrens said “The interior design will reflect current medical practices. The expansion is centered around the medical home model with providers working in pods in open areas. This allows them to monitor exam rooms and communicate more easily between care team members to best serve patients quickly and safely.” The initiative to build a new clinic has been a partnership between the Greater Muscatine Community Foundation and UnityPoint Clinic and has been guided by a dedicated committee. “This is a welcome addition to health care in our community,” said Charla Schafer, executive director of the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine. “It will provide convenient access to care for a lot of people who don’t have access to transportation. It also increases Muscatine’s physician recruitment possibilities. In addition to a grant from the Muscatine Health Support Fund, the new clinic’s construction will be covered by a local philanthropic campaign, and $875,000 in American Relief Plan Act (ARPA) funding, Ms. Schafer said. “The layout and space will be beneficial to current health care needs, which have changed quite a bit from what they were in 1975,” she added. At present, bids have been let to several construction companies. Construction will begin sometime in the spring and is projected to wrap up in about one year. Ms. Schafer credited the committee that worked with the hospital, clinic and foundation on addressing current needs. The decision to go forward with a new clinic is part of a larger effort to continue defining and meeting Muscatine County residents’ health care needs. Historically, this focus dates back to when the current clinic was built with the efforts of Dr. John Parks, Stan Howe, Roy Carver and Norbert Beckey. It was later formalized by Dick Stanley, Chuck Coulter and local leaders under the Muscatine Health Support Foundation. In 2017, that foundation transferred assets to the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine, establishing the Muscatine Health Support Fund. The foundation owns the Mulberry Clinic and has had a long-term lease with UnityPoint Health to operate and maintain it. This will continue, and so will the funding stream that results. Rental dollars received by the Community Foundation are returned to the community annually through grants promoting projects that further develop the local health care system. “The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine is proud to continue our partnership with UnityPoint Health – Trinity Muscatine,” Ms. Schafer said. “We look forward to continuing to play a role in ensuring a sustained local presence of quality primary health care in our community, and to continue the vision that reflects the leadership and caring hearts from the past that have helped shape Muscatine.” Mr. Behrens also emphasized UnityPoint’s dedication to the community. “We’re here to deliver high-quality healthcare locally so our neighbors receive primary care and manage chronic diseases when they need our help,” he said. “We’re committed to the community and enjoy being a healthcare partner for life.” Industry high marks UnityPoint Health’s dedication to patient care has been repeatedly recognized by industry experts, resulting in the facility:
- Being rated a Top 100 Rural & Community Hospital.
- Earning a 4-Star rating for four consecutive years from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
- Achieving annual recognition with the National Center for Quality Assurance for Patient Centered Medical Home.