Upgrading health care in the heart of North Dakota


Foundations making big strides toward new medical facilities in Rugby and Minot

For over a century, the Heart of America Medical Center has provided essential medical services to the North Dakota community of Rugby.

And as rich in history the hospital is, it’s time for an upgrade.

“The oldest portion of the current building is from the 1940s and the newest is from the 90s,” says Tony Coffman, foundation director for the Good Samaritan Health Services Foundation, which supports the medical center. “We were told that financially we would have to close the hospital within the next seven years if we didn’t build a new one, so that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

About a year ago, the foundation kicked off a campaign to build a new facility in its “little community” that serves approximately 40,000 citizens in a six-county, 50-mile radius of Rugby.

The new 79,000-square-foot facility is a considerable downsize from the previous center, which sits at about 140,000 square feet, but the move will save on utility costs and is smartly designed to maximize efficiency.

“The new center is all one level, meaning it will make it easier for our employees to get around,” says Coffman.

Bed capacity will include 18 swing beds planned for long-term care stays and seven swing beds for acute care hospital stays.

“It’ll make it much easier for us to care for the needs of the community.”

Enbridge awarded a Fueling Futures grants of $20,000 to Good Samaritan Health Foundation Services in recent months to assist in the construction of the new Heart of America Medical Center.

Meanwhile, a Fueling Futures grant of $20,000 has helped Trinity Health in its efforts to enhance and equip a redesigned Emergency Trauma Center in Minot as part of a new health-care campus and medical district targeted for completion in 2023. “With the new facilities, we will be able to provide more efficient and effective care for patients,” says Dr. Scott Knutson. “Frankly, this new ER will benefit patient care in too many ways to count.”

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In Rugby, the new Heart of America medical center will have ER and surgery capabilities, as well as a pharmacy, therapy and rehab, diagnostic imaging services, lab and chemo.

Expected to be in operation by this October, the foundation needs all the support it can get. The build of the new center has not been immune to the effects of inflation that have increased the original estimate by about 20%, and supporters are encouraged to give or pledge online what they can.

“We have overwhelming gratitude not only to our corporate donors but also to the very small companies and families who have given what they could afford to make this happen,” says Coffman.

“It has been a true community coming together to meet a really important need—we are so incredibly thankful for everybody who has believed in us, taken part and honored us.”


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