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Tomah Health on Schedule, Public Fundraising Announced

With one year complete on its two-year, $66 million new hospital construction project, Tomah Memorial Hospital officials say work is on schedule with a planned October 2019 opening of Tomah Health being built on Tomah’s south end.

“The project is on schedule and on budget,” hospital CEO Phil Stuart announced during a media update Oct. 11.

Tomah businessmen Vic Burnstad, left, and his son, Kent, announced a $250,000 pledge for construction of Tomah Health to Tomah Memorial Hospital CEO Phil Stuart, center, and hospital board chair Oak Moser.

Hospital officials broke ground last September on the three-story, nearly 150,000 sq. ft. building adjacent to Interstate 90 at 501 Gopher Ave.

“We’re making significant progress to get this all completed on schedule,” Stuart said, adding that installation of drywall on the building’s third floor is complete.  He said by December, “crews should complete the building shell so they can heat and finish the interior over the winter and spring.”


Over the past year, Stuart said a silent phase of a planned $2 million capital fundraising campaign has raised $1.5 million. “We have had some nice pledges that have already come in, and are very appreciative of that,” Stuart said.

Kent Burnstad of Tomah, along with his father, Vic, announced a $250,000 pledge to the campaign during the media event. “Even though we have been out of the grocery business for the last three years, this is one way that we can still give back to the community,” Kent Burnstad said of the family’s support.

The Burnstad family had been in the grocery business since 1944 during which time Burnstad said part of the family’s mission was to give back to the community. “This is a great gift you’re giving to the community, and we are happy to be part of it,” Burnstad added.


Stuart also acknowledged “high end” donations from Gerke Excavating, the Keith Laugen family, the Tomah Memorial Foundation and Hospital Auxiliary, which combined have contributed over $1 million toward the campaign.

“I do want to offer on behalf of the board of directors our sincere and very deep gratitude to all the individuals, the families and organizations that have already made significant contributions and commitments to our campaign,” hospital board chair Oak Moser said of the recent contributions.

He also encouraged members of the public to help support the campaign. “I’d like to encourage all members of the community to continue supporting our campaign and joining us to build a healthier future and lasting wellness for our community.”

Besides meeting the current needs, Moser said Tomah Health would meet health care needs for decades. “We believe the Tomah community will benefit from this state-of-the-art hospital designed to exceed patient care and satisfaction expectations both now and well into the future.”

Moser also thanked former hospital board members, current and previous hospital staff for “their wisdom and guidance through previous hospital expansions and fiscal responsibility that has made the new Tomah Health project a reality.”

“It’s certainly an exciting time to be a part of Tomah Memorial Hospital and part of our community,” Moser added. “The construction of this new facility is a very strategic, important, and certainly necessary initiative for meeting the ongoing health and wellness needs of our patients, our families and community.”


Officials announced last fall that the hospital would change its name to Tomah Health to represent the mission of the organization.

“When we open next October we will be known as Tomah Health…with a tagline of ‘Together in Care’,” Stuart explained. “We’re really expanding a lot of service areas and capabilities; it’s going to be a great addition to the community.”

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