Category Archives: Construction Updates


With all of the recent changes with new entrances, you may be wondering what door to use when accessing services at FirstLight.  Maps are attached to help answer questions, click here to view/print:

if you are a rehab patient

if you are here for surgery

if you are here for a clinic or lab only appointment

if you are here for the birthing center, inpatient, dining or a meeting/support group

There are extra volunteers at the Emergency Entrances to help guide you to where you or your loved ones or friends need to be, just remember to ask!

Thank you for choosing FirstLight for your care!




As 2018 quickly comes to an end, we can’t believe that we’re on day 365 of the proposed 516 project working days (give or take a few); making the project is about 61% finished.

The past year, so many areas were completed, either built new or remolded including:

inpatient and birthing rooms, rehabilitation services area, dining room, meeting rooms, infusion /chemotherapy area, inpatient pharmacy, environmental services (EVS), materials management, facilities, and IS support.

Some photos from the last few weeks:

Infusion / Chemotherapy

Community pharmacy (due to open early summer 2019)

ED hallway / registration

…and Save the Date for the Emergency Department Open House!

The construction time line shows the ladder part of the project includes:  a new community pharmacy, remodeling of the hospital lab, repairing some infrastructure, a new central registration area, and lastly the relocation of the downtown eye clinic.


Quality Emergency Care. Close to Home.

You trust FirstLight to be there when the unexpected happens, providing emergency care second-to-none for you and your family. Coming in December, FirstLight will open a brand-new Emergency Department as part of its hospital expansion project to better serve you.

The expanded, modern space will feature a streamlined design enabling improved efficiencies for care teams and EMS crews, safe, comfortable and quiet trauma and exam rooms, a more secure helicopter landing area, and numerous improvements to improve patient care and satisfaction.

December Open House

To celebrate this exciting milestone, FirstLight will host an open house in mid- December.

Download here


Construction crews are trying to beat mother nature by buttoning up most of the outside work before year end, specifically: the new Highway 65/23 entrance and footings for the featured staircase adjacent to the new centralized registration area.

Watch for ads online and in the newspaper around the new entry and exit for the clinic and hospital beginning October 22 (pending weather).

Footings outside the current ED entrance that will support the new canopy (for patient drop off) and featured staircase adjacent to the new centralized check-in area.

Area A, the new Emergency Department is having the flooring installed.  The Emergency Department (new) is slated to be open sometime in December of 2018.

ED flooring, Area A


Since the last update, there has been quite a bit of internal happenings, here’s a sneak peak:

Old labor/delivery area is being converted to the new infusion and chemo area.  The skylight will remain, adding more natural light to the space.

New community pharmacy is underway, expected to open early spring of 2019.

Emergency Department registration area is being built and framed.

New helipad is poured and trees removed to support trajectory requirements from the FAA.

Canopy covers in front of area A before and after:

New ramp down the surgery hallway poured to correct elevations from old building to the new building closest to inpatient and birthing rooms.

Construction Notification- August 21, 2018- public parking

Beginning Thursday, August 23,  and lasting for approximately  six (6) weeks, part of the south east portion of the clinic parking lot will be unavailable.

Please refer to the map below–

The clinic entrance will be open and only accessible by foot.  If a patient needs to be dropped near an entrance, please use the Emergency Department doors.

Thank you for your patience as we build a healthier tomorrow.


A lot has happened in the past 2 months:  we opened our new rehabilitation services area, are now offering public dining options (stop by for a great meal!),  have new waiting, inpatient and birthing suites and a dedicated care team area to better serve our patients, their families and visitors!

As we move into the ladder part of the year, expect to see the the Emergency Department and helipad move to the NE corner of the building, improved parking capabilities and a new entrance off Hwy 65.

Remember when visiting your loved ones at FirstLight, please enter through the Emergency Department door and follow the signs around to the elevators and staircase leading to the new inpatient wing and rehab area.

A few highlights…

Pediatric Therapy now offered in the Mora location
New inpatient room allowing for clinical, patient and family centered areas.
For our visiting and overnight folks– a convertible couch to bed
Bill Asmus, FirstLight’s EVS Supervisor, giving a grand tour of our new inpatient and ICU rooms and birthing suites.
Stopping for a quick photo before the grand opening celebration started are Diane Bankers (Sr. VP of Nursing Services) and Ellen Ryan (Chief Quality Officer)
A variety of food options now available in our dining room. Fresh hummus and vegetables, specialty sandwiches and a little sweet treat!
Senior leaders and volunteers make events happen (L-R): Kim Carlson (Sr. VP-HR), Karen Renaud (Lab Mgr), Michelle Vork (Admin Assist-Clinic), Sandy Zutz-Wiczek (COO), and Josh Asp (CFO)
FirstLight’s Board of Directors and Kanabec County Commissioners: Top (L-R): Dr. Schwinghamer, Teri Heggernes (Board Chair), Carl Pederson, Les Nielson (Kanabec County Commissioner) Middle Row (L-R): Paul Kent, Kim Smith (FL Board and Kanabec County Commissioner), Dennis McNally (Kanabec County Commissioner) Front: Amy Anderson, Dr. Kathi Ellis (FL Board member and Kanabec County Commissioner) and Becci Steffen
Front reception area in Rehabilitation Services
Garrett Estenson (Rehabilitation Services Director) speaking to the crowd about all of the services now offered by FirstLight
Ribbon cutting

Area A, otherwise known as the NE Addition is currently under construction to meet the November deadline.  Here are a few pictures:

Rooms getting framed in the new ED space
Columns outside the new ED
New parking almost set to open.