Russell Pillers, a biomedical engineer, and owner Biowerx Consulting, LLC, who has been working with Northern Nye County Hospital District as a consultant since October 2018, said that one of his tasks involves an assessment for the building where the Nye County Regional Medical Hospital was located.
The building in which Nye Regional Medical Center was located before it was shuttered in 2015 needs to have “a complete facility condition assessment,” Pillers said.
“That’s a very extensive, relatively expensive operation where structural engineers, plumbing, heating, electrical people all come in and evaluate the structure to see how much it’s going to cost to get it open again. Right now what’s really missing is just a number. Nobody really has a hard number of what it would take to get that building open again.”
Pillers previously told the Tonopah Times-Bonanza that he is currently working with Northern Nye County Hospital District to develop a concert of urgent care for Tonopah.
“Separate from the effort with a hospital district, I’m also the project manager on the USDA Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training grant whose purpose is to develop a pre-feasibility study for a project like a hospital to find out if a strategy for future funding can be developed and applied later,” Pillers said.
One of the requirements of the grant is that the county needs to do a healthcare needs analysis for the Northern Nye County region.
“That’s a scientific study to determine the ground truth of what’s happening out there now and what a community with those demographics and that location would need for healthcare,” Pillers said.
Pillers said Nye County officials found a group out of Elko that had recently finished the healthcare analysis for the Elko area.
“They are working on our healthcare needs analysis right now. They’ve been at it a couple of months and will probably be done in the next three months,” Pillers said.
The results of the healthcare needs analysis will drive the condition assessment of the facility, Pillers said.
“It’s really going to paint the picture of where we need to be shooting on the horizon. That information will drive the facility assessment on the Nye Regional itself,” Pillers said.
The USDA grant was received by the Nye Communities Coalition. About half of the grant is for Tonopah and another half is for the irrigation system in Duckwater. Pillers said he is managing both sides of the $150,000 grant which also involved matching funds from the Northern Nye County Hospital District and Nye County that brought it to $170,000.
The grant is currently being distributed, and when it’s set in place, Pillers said there will be a feasibility study of the old hospital building. Based on the results of the feasibility study, he said the county will decide what to do with the building.
Nye County currently owns the Nye County Regional Medical Center. Depending on the results of the facility condition assessment, the building could be demolished, Pillers said.
“It could be one of the outcomes, we just don’t know yet,” Pillers said.