Medical leaders, economic development officials celebrate groundbreaking of new West End facility

Local medical professionals and economic development officials braved blustery conditions on Thursday evening to commemorate the groundbreaking of what soon will be a major new medical facility in Dubuque.

Crews will break ground on the new home of Grand River Medical Group this month, and physicians will move into the facility in the summer of 2022, according to CEO Justin Hafner. The new, three-story structure will be located on Westmark Drive, near the intersection of Northwest Arterial and Pennsylvania Avenue

Hafner framed the project as a major step forward for an organization still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A year ago, as we entered into COVID’s darkest days, this day seemed like it was so far away. … This groundbreaking ceremony marks the next chapter for our organization,” he said.

Grand River Medical Group currently operates their Family Medicine Clinic out of the facility at 320 N. Grandview Ave., a space that it will vacate once the new structure is complete. The 40,000-square-foot facility on Westmark Drive will boast roughly twice the square footage as the existing site.

All other current clinic locations will remain operational.

Hafner emphasized that the new clinic will allow Grand River to make additional hires and expand services, although he said the group was not ready to outline which new services would be added.

Ronald Iverson, president of Grand River Medical Group, outlined the organization’s deep community roots.

“Although Grand River Medical Group is relatively new in the Dubuque health care scene, in reality we have a rich local tradition reflected in the three groups that merged into Grand River in 2016 — Dubuque Pediatrics, Dubuque Family Practice and Dubuque Internal Medicine,” he said.

He said Grand River Medical Group is building on the traditions of those organizations, while also charting a course for the future.

“This new building is just the most recent example of our commitment to providing health care at the highest level,” he said.

Hafner, meanwhile, highlighted the experience of the group’s physicians, noting that they collectively have more than 650 years of experience caring for people in Dubuque and the greater tri-state area.

He praised their effort throughout the pandemic, noting that they volunteered to work extra hours and cared for some of the area’s sickest patients.

“I have never been so impressed by such a selfless group of physicians,” he said.

Donning red jackets, representatives from Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce joined in the festivities.

Dan Sullivan, director of memberships for the chamber, said it was exciting to celebrate a positive development on the heels of a difficult period.

“If you look at the rendering (for the new building), it is clear that it is going to be a great structure and a big improvement (over the previous facility),” he said. “It will be a great development for Dubuque and the medical community.”