Roland Bibeau, president of Presbyterian Hospital Matthews speaks to members of the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce at the monthly members luncheon. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

The Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce was updated on the status of Presbyterian Hospital Mint Hill at its monthly member luncheon Thursday, November 15 at Pine Lake Country Club.

Roland Bibeau, president of Presbyterian Hospital Matthews spoke during the luncheon, telling the chamber the timeline is still on track to begin construction in 2014, and complete the hospital in 2016.

Bibeau spoke to the chamber in August of 2011, and at that time, the hospital was taking a second look at the plans, given the economic and political environment surrounding the healthcare industry.

Originally, plans for the hospital described a 225,000 square foot facility, at a construction cost of approximately $115 million. After some minor changes in the design of the building, the square footage is down to 165,000, at the cost of about $90 million.

“This opportunity allowed us to really take a critical look at the footprint, how we deliver healthcare today, and how are we going to have to do it tomorrow,” Bibeau said.

The changes to the building will not affect the service capabilities of the hospital, which Bibeau insured would remain a “full-service community hospital,” and noted that even with the reduction in physical size, the number of beds will not change.

Bibeau also spoke on the changing scene of healthcare legislation and the impact that it would have on the healthcare business if the current plan were to be enacted.

Under the new legislation, Bibeau said, more than 34 million Americans will get access to healthcare in 2014, and his fear is that the system will not have enough physicians to handle the influx of patients.

But with the changing scene and forthcoming challenges, the hospital will still be built, and the Nouvant and Presbyterian Healthcare system will continue to operate.

“We will survive,” Bibeau said. “There’s no doubt in my mind, we will continue to leverage our technology and leverage our pharmaceuticals and leverage what we do best and that’s…connecting with our communities that we serve.”