Katy Trail Community Health is expanding its reach with the announcement of a second Sedalia location.

Construction will start on a new Katy Trail facility at 305 W. Main St. later this month, which will kick off with a groundbreaking at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 26. Katy Trail already has a site at 821 Westwood Ave., along with locations in Marshall, Versailles and Warsaw.

Chief Executive Officer Chris Stewart said Katy Trail has been working toward a second Sedalia site for three years and was close to being ready to start the project when the coronavirus pandemic hit. The building was put on hold until about a month ago.

“We decided that we really need to move forward even in this environment of COVID-19 because we really want to have a location on the east side of town. We think that’s important,” Stewart said. “We love the location. We need more space because our staff are not able to appropriately distance themselves in our building.

“Part of the reason initially is because our volumes were such that we didn’t have enough room. We have staff on top of each other, very full schedules and were just not able to make it go. Everybody’s been dealing with it for at least two years.”

Stewart said about two years ago, Katy Trail contracted with the company that does its strategic planning to do geo-mapping of where the center’s patients live and learned most live in central Sedalia. That led to Katy Trail seeking an east side location to make healthcare more accessible to current and potential Katy Trail patients who live in central and east Sedalia.

“That location seemed really perfect for that reason,” Stewart said of Main Street. “An extra added benefit is it allows us to participate in the effort to revitalize downtown. A new building on what was a vacant lot, that’s a bonus.”

The Main Street site will be two stories. The second floor will house all of the administration offices that are currently in the Westwood site. Nine exam rooms will be on the first floor. Stewart said the new facility will be about half the size of the current building. It will include medical and behavioral health. Dental services will continue to be offered at the Westwood site.

Interviews are underway to add doctors to the Sedalia clinical staff. According to Stewart, Katy Trail served roughly 8,000 people in Pettis County and she expects to add another 2,000 with the expansion.

“We think some of our patients coming here (Westwood) will go over there (Main) because it’s easier for them, but we anticipate adding about 2,000 patients,” she said.

Stewart said the plan is to move into the new facility in August 2021. It is being constructed by Preferred Construction in conjunction with Rob Rollings Architects.

Once the new facility is complete, that will allow part two to begin: renovations at the current facility. Stewart said plans include adding a dental operatory designed to serve people in a wheelchair and redesigning the medical areas “so the space better supports our medical home model and team-based care.”   

“Our goal is to continue providing the high-quality services we provide and just make ourselves more accessible to the Pettis County and Sedalia community,” Stewart said. “Our volumes during COVID-19 are not what they were prior to COVID but we continue to, every single week we’re seeing more and more people. We are certain we’re going to be prepared for when we open up our second site. We’re really excited about being on the east side of town and so close to downtown.”

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Nicole Cooke is the editor for the Sedalia Democrat, overseeing all newsroom operations and assisting with news coverage of Sedalia and Pettis County. She can be reached at 660-530-0138 or on Twitter @NicoleRCooke.

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