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A crowning achievement for FRMC, the community

Nearly nine months of hard work and dedication by a team of individuals has culminated in one of the biggest announcements in Fairview in some time.

Last week news came that Fairview Regional Medical Center has been awarded a $1.2 million EDA grant to construct a state of the art Therapy Center at FRMC.

JaNae Barnard, Kris Gosney and Vicki Eggers with NODA began the labor intensive task of writing the grant proposal.

Along the way the group worked with Fairview Regional Medical Center CEO Roger Knak to obtain feedback and review plans that had been written.

Knak and the Therapy Department staff also played a large role in the process as well, as they worked with architects to crunch numbers and approve design plans. All of which had to be done on short timeline to submit with the grant paperwork.

From the City of Fairview side, City Manager Jerry Eubanks, Melinda Gould and Kelli Tautfest worked hard behind the scenes handling site plan review paperwork, making sure required public notices were filed on time and a host of other tasks.

By Mid-August, all the pieces had came together and the grant was submitted to the Regional EDA office in Austin, Texas.

Once at the office in Austin, those working locally on the grant were required to submit additional paperwork and information as requested by the Regional Office.

By Mid-Fall, local representatives were notified the grant paperwork had met the initial requirements for approval.

After a series of additional paperwork and tasks, the grant paperwork was finally approved by the Regional EDA Office in Austin and forwarded on to the National Office in Washington D.C.

In early January, it became apparent to all involved, FRMC had a very strong shot at being approved for the grant.

Then, the announcement that has been hoped for since last June finally came by way a of Press Release by Congressman Frank Lucas’ office March 12.

Below is the Press Release announcing the approval

Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) applauded the announcement by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo today that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.25 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the city of Fairview, Oklahoma, to assist in the expansion of the outpatient therapy department of Fairview Regional Medical Center.

“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, health care workers across Oklahoma have dedicated their lives for the health and safety of our communities,” said Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03). “In the wake of COVID-19 and enhanced safety protocols, these CARES Act funds will ensure that the Fairview Regional Medical Center can continue to safely serve its patients and families while expanding its rehabilitation services.

“I congratulate the local leaders of Fairview, Oklahoma and the Northern Oklahoma Development Authority on their efforts and thank them for their tireless advocacy on behalf of their follow Oklahomans. I thank the EDA for their continued commitment in investing in Oklahoma’s local communities.”

The EDA grant, to be matched with $336,199 in local investment, is expected to create 20 jobs.

“President Biden has dedicated his Administration to ensuring that the nation recovers and grows back stronger from the coronavirus pandemic and that all Americans have access to the quality, affordable health care they deserve,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

“This EDA investment in the city of Fairview will result in a new Outpatient Therapy Sports Performance Rehabilitation Center building at Fairview Regional Medical Center that will provide these health services in the wake of increased health care demand and enhanced safety protocols.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in helping communities across the nation implement economic development strategies to mitigate economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This EDA grant will allow Fairview Regional Medical Center to construct a new facility to house its outpatient therapy department so that it can continue to safely offer rehabilitation services including physical therapy, cardiac rehab, and speech therapy to the region.”

“I am glad to see the EDA is awarding a $1.25 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to Fairview to support rural health care by expanding the outpatient therapy department of Fairview Regional Medical Center (FRMC),” said Senator Jim Inhofe. “These targeted funds, provided through bipartisan legislation we enacted last year, will help FRMC continue to provide critical therapy services to Northwest Oklahoma as we recover from the pandemic.”

The EDA project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Northern Oklahoma Development Authority, which EDA funds to help bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.

FRMC CEO Roger Knak had this to say about the announcement, “FRMC has ran out of space in the Therapy Department between Physical Therapy and Cardiac Rehab.  When the Covid pandemic hit we suddenly were aware of how little distancing we could provide in that space causing us to limit session and patients.

“This grant will allow us to grow our Rehab departments and add services that are not available in our community such sports performance rehabilitation, and children’s therapy.  It will also allow us to expand the number of sessions our Cardiac Rehab program can host removing the waiting list that has been created.

“Adding services will allow us to add employees increasing local professional jobs.  It will also mean the we can provide services locally that people in our region are driving to which will keep dollars local.

“As healthcare nationwide continues to shift away from inpatient care, this expansion of outpatatient therapies allows us to replace some of that lost revenue keeping our facility fiscally sound for the future.”

From the onset, the grant project has received tremendous support from the Fairview City Council and Fairview Regional Medical Center Board have pledged their support.

Both FRMC and City of Fairview fully supported the 21 percent match portion of the grant, which in this case amounts to $336,199, a vital part of the grant application.

Ground breaking on the facility will be announced in future publications of the Fairview Republican.

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