RHINELANDER - People in the Northwoods often travel a long way to get specialized healthcare not offered locally.
With the turn of a shovel Friday, Rhinelander's Aspirus Clinic moved one step closer solving that issue. A ground breaking ceremony cleared the way for a 21,000 square foot expansion.
The current facility opened in 2008 and employs 73 people within a 28,000 square foot building.
The $14 million project will create 20 new jobs and bring in seven new medical providers. The new space will also expand the clinic's imaging services and provide more specialty and primary care options.
"Serving rural communities is a very difficult endeavor, but that doesn't mean that our rural communities don't deserve the best, most convenient, passionate care possible," said Aspirus CEO & President Matt Heywood.
The expansion will house Apirus's physical therapy center, updated sleep study suite and create dozens of new exam rooms for specialist services.
"We always say to ourselves, we want to make sure that we give the same care that we expect from ourselves and our families to each and every one of the people we serve in our communities," said Heywood.
Regional Clinic Director Robb Fabich hopes those new facilities will attract quality medical providers.
"You want good facilities that physicians can come into when they're candidates and they're looking around and they can say 'I'd be comfortable working here','" said Fabish.
The expansion will also have a state-of-the-art heating and cooling system and use some solar power as well.
"Not only are they making a commitment to the community they're also making one to the environment," said Rep. Rob Swearingen.
The new space is expected to open by the fall of 2020.