Iowa Governor Terry Branstad paid a visit to Atlantic this (Wednesday) morning. The Governor spoke with representatives of the City and County, and hospital administrators before taking a private tour of the Cass County Memorial Hospital.
During the meeting, Branstad spoke briefly about recent storm damage in the state, but his primary focus was on health care, and making Iowa one of the healthiest states in the nation. He said that starts with excellent healthcare, close to home. Branstad said he was aware of, the recent multi-million dollar spending on renovations that have taken place at CCMH as part of that process.
Gov. Branstad with CCMG CEO Todd Hudspeth. (Photo provided)
CEO Todd Hudspeth went into a little more detail about the changes. He said they had made a $25-million dollar addition to the facility over the past 3 years, tore down part of the structure and added a new in-patient wing and emergency room surgery. The process also involved extensive remodeling of the rest of the facility.
Cass-Atlantic Development Corporation (CADCO) Vice President Pat McCurdy told the Governor that the hospital plays a very important role in economic development when businesses are thinking about moving to or expanding in Cass County. Branstad said the goal of being the healthiest state in the nation wouldn’t be possible without a public-private partnership. He said that type of cooperation is a better approach than what the Obama Administration is doing.
He says the State has been working with Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Hy-Vee and others. They also passed the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan, which uses Accountable Care organizations in terms of a delivery system. Branstad said “This is a much better approach than just expanding Medicaid, which was the Obama way, and, as you know that’s got plenty of problems and controversy.” He said the State is trying to come up with its own direction “A truly Iowa plan,” that he says so far, is “Off to a pretty good start.”
As a way of “Leading by example” when it comes to healthy living, Branstad said he’s lost 12-pounds – enough to wear the Army uniform he wore in 1971 – while wife has lost 25 pounds. Branstad was scheduled to make other appearances today (Wednesday) in Mondamin, Onawa and Guthrie Center.