5 Some people say you can judge a community by the quality of its health care. That’s true of Custer, a growing, thriving community that will soon be home to one of the most modern healing environments in South Dakota. In October 2016, work began on a new $22 million Regional Health Custer Hospital and Clinic, a 44,000-square-foot state-of-the- art health care center that will not only ex- pand current services, but will accommodate future growth of health care services in Custer. “Custer is an incredible community, and we’re honored to be part of it,” said Mark Schmidt, Regional Health Custer Hospital and Market President. “This new project demonstrates Regional Health’s commitment to serve the health care needs of Custer and the Southern Hills for decades to come.” The new hospital and clinic join Regional Health Assisted Living and Regional Health Care Center in providing a full range of care for residents of the Southern Hills. Regional Health Assisted Living offers a cost-effective housing alternative for people who need help but want to remain independ- S ent. It has private rooms equipped with pri- vate bathrooms and accessible showers. Re- gional Health Care Center is a licensed skilled-nursing facility. Services are coordi- nated with the hospital, clinic and assisted liv- ing facility. The new hospital and clinic building is set to open in early 2018. “A new building and modern facilities will never replace the human compassion and medical competence of our physicians and caregivers, the build- ing was designed to complement and enhance the quality health care they provide” Schmidt said. New features of the hospital and clinic in- clude a hospice suite, a healing garden and walking trail, private patient rooms and an ur- gent care space for walk-in visits. With Custer State Park, Wind Cave and the Black Hills National Forest right outside Custer’s door, the city hosts a number of visitors, es- pecially in the summer. Urgent care is an im- portant service in Custer. Clinic hours will likely be expanded and two new physicians will be brought to Custer. The one-story design with large public spaces, patient privacy and other amenities will allow for smooth patient flow, caregiver efficiency and quality patient and family ex- periences. A primary goal of rebuilding the hospital and clinic on a new site is to allow room for future expansion and to enhance Re- gional Health’s ability to provide coordi- nated, personal and compassionate care. The project is the result of collaboration between Regional Health, the City of Custer, and Community Health Services, Inc., now, Custer Community Advisory Board. Re- gional Health will own the new hospital and clinic and is committing most of the money for the construction project. The City of Custer will contribute up to $4 million. “The ongoing commitment from the city is crucial in making this happen,” Schmidt said. “It really demonstrates the long-lasting partnership that has allowed health care to grow to the level it is today in Custer.” With construction already underway, it won’t be long before young and old alike can take advantage of the new, wide open spaces of the newest hospital in the region. “There is a lot of excitement surrounding it, what it means to our community and for people who are looking to relocate to Custer,” Schmidt said.