KEARNEY, Neb. — Kearney Regional Medical Center is celebrated their five year anniversary of caring for Kearney area residents. But the road over the past few years hasn’t been easy to get to this milestone.
“We really had the idea that we wanted to bring health care back to our community,” Kearney Regional physician David Benavides.
And that’s just what they did.
In 2014, a group of area doctors opened a physician-led medical facility, the first of its kind in the area.
This month as the hospital celebrates five years, staff look at all the facility had to overcome to open its doors.
“Well they had to figure out how do we build this place, how so we pay for it, when the idea was conceived, it happened around the time of the recession,” said hospital CEO Bill Calhoun.
Along with the recession, was a test of loyalty and issues with health care in the state legislature.
“Which caused us to not be in a position where physicians could actually own hospitals,” said Calhoun.
But with hard work and perseverance, the facility opened its doors and has been serving the community ever since.
Staff said that they are proud of its growth inside and out.
“We hired about 20 of us and started the hospital out with 20 people.,” said hospital CFO John Lanning. “We’re now nearly 900 employees strong which is something that makes all really proud that we’ve made it this far. I don’t think we envisioned that when we started out.”
Founding doctors said success wouldn’t be possible without the community and hospital staff.
“You have to credit all the people involved,” said Benavides. “It’s not one, two, three people, it’s a group of physicians, a group of administrators, all our employees here at the hospital, they’ve all bought into it and they know it’s for them, we know it’s for Kearney and the surrounding areas, so it’s been a great accomplishment something we are very proud of.”
Calhoun said the future is bright for the facility.
“There are thoughts to expand our primary care services, there are thoughts to expand specialty care services our desire would be to not only work within our own medical group, our Platte Valley Medical group is part of the hospital, we have a number of independent physicians in the local community who are terrific supporters of this hospital and we want to encourage them to grow,” said Calhoun.