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Rural Development OKs $28.5 million loan for new Baldwin hospital

Sen. Tammy Baldwin

During a visit to St. Croix County today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin announced the approval of a $28.5 million Rural Development loan to build a replacement critical access hospital in the village of Baldwin.

The new Baldwin Area Medical Center is expected to cost $43.5 million with $7.5 million provided by the hospital and another $7.5 million by a private lender.

The center will have 15 inpatient beds as well as outpatient facilities. It will be built on a 95-acre parcel at the junction of I-94 and Hwy. 63 in Baldwin.

According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture announcement, the new hospital is needed because the existing facility is outdated and lacks amenities demanded by the existing patient base; the existing hospital is not easily accessible by the surrounding communities and is unable to expand in size because it is landlocked; the community surrounding the proposed construction site is growing in size and is younger in age and thus requires different services; and a greater demand now exists for integrative outpatient services and less for inpatient.

“As a longtime supporter of Critical Access Hospitals, I understand how this CAH would play a vital role in providing access to affordable health care, economic security for families and seniors, and jobs to rural communities in the Baldwin service area,” wrote Baldwin in a November letter to the state director of USDA Rural Development.

She continued, “These hospitals are safety nets for many of rural area Wisconsinites by providing inpatient and outpatient services as well as 24-hour emergency care. CAHs make it possible for patients with complex medical needs to remain at home in rural communities.

“Importantly, these hospitals serve as local economic engines.”

The Baldwin Area Medical Center is an independent clinic and hospital. It bought the 95 acres with the intent of developing a health and wellness campus.