Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

New partners sign on to Ely hospital project

Twin Cities YMCA, Ely Area Ambulance join partnership

Keith Vandervort
Posted 2/7/19

ELY – The new year brought the announcement of a partnership between Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital (EBCH) and the Ely Regional Community Complex (ERCC) that could lead to the building of an …

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New partners sign on to Ely hospital project

Twin Cities YMCA, Ely Area Ambulance join partnership

Posted

ELY – The new year brought the announcement of a partnership between Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital (EBCH) and the Ely Regional Community Complex (ERCC) that could lead to the building of an 80,000 square-foot community facility comprised of wellness amenities and enhanced health programs and services.

Two more organizations signed on to the project this past week.

The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities and the Ely Area Ambulance Service signed MemorandA of Understanding (MOU) to work with the ERCC and EBCH to find solutions to addressing the unmet health needs of the community.

According to Ely Hospital CEO Michael Coyle, the MOU involving the YMCA is with the ERCC and EBCH, and there is a separate MOU between the hospital and the ambulance service.

The initiative, in its early planning stages, has two components, according to Coyle.

“Regarding the first part, the hospital is finalizing its master facility plan that will define new health care services to the community. The second area of the project includes a recreational center, with plans potentially including a pool, indoor track and other amenities,” he said.

Coyle noted that the Memoranda of Understanding “are simply to demonstrate interest among the parties and to create a framework” for further discussion and study.

“It’s incredibly encouraging to know the YMCA and Ely Area Ambulance Service are joining the team,” Coyle added. “This announcement brings this initiative to a whole new level of enthusiasm and commitment.”

The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities continues to add to its presence in the Ely area. The organization recently acquired two private resorts, Timber Wolf Lodge and Northern Lights Lodge and Resort on Bear Island Lake, to create a second family camp in the Ely area. The $4 million purchase,.joins Camp Du Nord on Burntside Lake, which opened in 1960.

“We are excited to partner with the community to help provide programs and services to help everyone realize their potential,” said Anita Lancello Bydlon, chief real estate development officer for the Twin Cities YMCA. “We look forward to discussing as part of the task force work what programs and services best meet the needs of youth, adults, families and seniors in the community.”

Coyle said the addition of the YMCA brings a new array of possibilities, and that the shared vision is to add a new dimension of health care offerings to the community, while simultaneously supporting and complementing existing services in the area.

“We are so fortunate to live in a thriving community with an abundance of natural resources attracting new residents and visitors,” he said. “We have a responsibility as health leaders to always seek ways to listen to the needs and expectations of our community, and to provide solutions. We welcome anyone who wants to discuss joining this movement.”

The Ely Area Ambulance Service, meanwhile, is looking for a new home. Executive Director Geoff Galaski said that the ambulance company has outgrown its space and is seeking a location to replace its existing facility.

“As we look at the goals of this effort, it’s a natural fit with our priorities at Ely Area Ambulance,” Galaski said. “In many ways, it will be a health campus with a variety of services to help others get healthy, stay healthy and to care for them when they’re not healthy. We’re proud to be part of this inspiring project.”

He noted that because the effort is in the beginning stages, additional details are not available. “They will be shared with the community as soon as plans are solidified,” he said.

Jeff Sundell, ERCC president, said he is humbled at the incredible momentum building for the regional and community healthy living effort. “It’s been a dream for many years, and now with the support of so many community partners, that dream is becoming a reality,” he said. “It’s a wonderful time for Ely and the surrounding communities. Let’s keep it going and get this done.”

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