MJM Electric Cooperative and USDA help expand rural healthcare

Richard Walden (left), Vice Chairman of Carlinville Area Hospital’s board told MJM Electric Board Chairman Bob Lehmann and President/CEO Laura Cutler the hospital has grown by 25 percent in just a few years. The new $2 million USDA REDLG zero-percent revolving loan through the co-op will help further that growth.

Richard Walden (left), Vice Chairman of Carlinville Area Hospital’s board told MJM Electric Board Chairman Bob Lehmann and President/CEO Laura Cutler the hospital has grown by 25 percent in just a few years. The new $2 million USDA REDLG zero-percent revolving loan through the co-op will help further that growth.

Access to healthcare is a big issue for many rural areas. That in turn has a big impact on the future growth and economic growth. On Thursday, October 20, officials from MJM Electric Cooperative, Carlinville Area Hospital and USDA Rural Development celebrated their cooperative partnership to solve this issue with a $2 million zero interest rural development loan that helped fund ­additional healthcare facilities and services.

On location at the new, 28,000 square foot medical facility, USDA Rural Development Director for Illinois Colleen Callahan presented a symbolic check for $2 million in Rural Economic Development Loan (REDL) funds to Laura Cutler, President/CEO of MJM Electric. In turn, MJM loaned these funds at zero percent interest to Carlinville Area Hospital.

“Above and beyond the expectation of assisting their members, MJM Electric is demonstrating a commitment to the broader community through its collaboration with Carlinville Area Hospital,” said Callahan. “This is the third time MJM Electric has put their cooperative principles into action by using Rural Development funds to assist local businesses.”

Since opening in 2010, the facility has grown at least 25 percent in terms of space, patients served and employees. New services like infusion therapy allow patients to be treated locally instead of driving to St. Louis or Springfield.

Laura Cutler, president/CEO of the Carlinville-based electric cooperative said, “This was a no-brainer and our board realized we needed to do this. One of our core principles is commitment to community. And I’ve already seen how this hospital is helping our area and even our employees. One of our employees was hurt recently and put on light desk duty. The hospital was convenient for his therapy and recovery, but he had to wait two weeks to get in. That tells me there is a big demand and need for the services here in our area. I’m glad we could help out. I know our board was really pleased and we know our members are just as pleased.”

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