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The Joint Commission


Nabholz Construction Hosts Topping Out Ceremony

Shay Willis April 17, 2013

Nabholz Construction Services hosted a topping out ceremony Wednesday to celebrate the completion of the first phase of construction of the new Paragould Medical Park at 4000 Linwood (U.S. 49 South) in Paragould. It will be anchored by an ambulatory care facility.

Arkansas Methodist Medical Center and St. Bernards have joined together to develop Paragould Medical Park on a 48-acre plot located on the west side of U.S. 49 north of the new Greene County Tech High School.

After brief comments from Charles Nabholz, chairman of the board of Nabholz Construction Services, those in attendance watched as two steel beams (topped out with a tree and a flag) were hoisted to the center of the superstructure and joined together to symbolize the partnership forged by the two major healthcare providers in the $16 million project.

The topping out ceremony is a kickback to a centuries old Scandinavian tradition of placing an evergreen tree on the highest point of a shelter or home upon its completion.

In the 19th Century, as people from Northern Europe came to America, many of them worked as construction craftsmen, bringing with them not only their construction skills, but also their customs. One in particular was the topping out of new buildings with the evergreen tree, a symbol of growth which typically is said to bring good luck.

Though the meaning of the ceremony has changed a little over time, Nabholz continues the tradition as a way to celebrate the completion of the most dangerous phase of construction and to symbolize thanksgiving for a safe project.

One of the beams put into place Wednesday had been taken to Arkansas Methodist Medical Center and the other to St. Bernards, where employees at both organizations had opportunity to sign them. The signed beams complete the structural portion of the project and were secured in the center of the building, symbolizing the forging of the partnership between AMMC and St. Bernards.

Ground was broken for Paragould Medical Park in December.  The initial phase will include a 60,000-square-foot structure that will accommodate clinical offices of a number of primary care physicians and specialists as well as pre-admissions testing for patients who will be admitted to AMMC and St. Bernards, laboratory services, imaging services and physical therapy and rehabilitative services. The facility will be connected fiber optically to both AMMC and St. Bernards.

Paragould Doctors Clinic will move offices to the new site, and primary care physicians Drs. Len Kemp, Lance Monroe, Mack Shotts and Dwight Williams will see patients there seven days a week, including evening hours on weekdays.

Other physicians have expressed interest in relocating offices. And Paragould Wound Healing Center, another collaborative venture between AMMC and St. Bernards, will move to the new site as well. That center opened in 2012 to provide services for patients who have chronic or traumatic hard-to-heal wounds.

Jonesboro Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine (JOSM) will have a satellite office at Paragould Medical Park, where physicians will continue to see orthopaedic and sports medicine patients.

The new facility will provide opportunity for the consolidation of clinical sites for other specialists who see patients in Greene County and the surrounding area on regularly scheduled clinic days. Those include neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons and behavioral health specialists. Others expected to be represented there are nephrologists, oncologists and infusion therapists.

Out parcels are available for development for businesses such as pharmacies, durable medical equipment providers, dentists, other types of healthcare providers, branch banks or restaurants.

Contractor for the project is Nabholz Construction. Brackett Krennerich Architects designed the structure to be especially energy efficient.

Paragould Medical Park is expected to be ready for use in the fall of this year.

Arkansas Methodist Medical Center is a 129-bed hospital in Paragould that provides progressive, compassionate healthcare to residents of Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri. St. Bernards Medical Center is a 438-bed acute care medical center which offers comprehensive healthcare services and serves as a regional referral center for a 23-county area in Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri.