Keokuk seeking $2.2 million in ARPA funds to reopen hospital
City leaders in Keokuk are asking residents and business owners to sign a petition in support of healthcare provider Insight’s request for $2.2 million in COVID relief funding.
The federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money would come through the state, and Insight would use it to help reopen the city’s shuttered hospital.
“We came up with this project thinking that if we could get enough signatures that maybe we could take them and try to get in to see the governor and show her the support through the area,” Mayor Kathie Mahoney said.
The mayor said residents and businesses are receiving letters about the project in this month’s water bills. Letters that are signed and returned to the city by July 5 will be sent to the governor’s office. Letters can be dropped off at City Hall, 501 Main St.
Blessing Health closed the hospital on Oct. 1, 2022 after 18 months of ownership.
Michigan-based Insight signed a letter of intent to purchase the hospital in January 2023, and completed the purchase in March.
Mahoney said Insight plans to establish an emergency room whenever the hospital is reopened.
“They have hired someone to come down and take a look at the hospital and see what the cost is going to be and exactly what needs to be done to get it up and running,” she said.
“Their goal is an emergency room first, then outpatient services second, and they are also wanting to run programs with students in the high schools to educate them on how to take better care of yourself.”
Mahoney said the hospital could reopen before the end of the year if Insight receives the ARPA funding.
If not, the hospital’s reopening could be delayed until March or April of next year.
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