There's a baby boom in western North Dakota.
And Mercy Medical Center in Williston is opening a new facility to help deal with it.
Mercy officials today held a ribbon cutting for its new Birth Place and Outpatient Surgery Center in Williston.
The huge addition will help the hospital deal with a more-than-doubling of the number of births at the hospital.
Mercy CEO Matt Grimshaw says there had been about 300 births per year at Mercy - but that number is getting closer to 800 now.
He says the new facility continues the commitment made by the sisters of Mercy in 1920 when Mercy Medical Center began.
(Matt Grimshaw, Mercy Medical Center CEO) "It's not a vision, not a dream, it's truly our mission that compels us to do what we're doing. Others may come here to make money in healthcare, but no one else is going to come to Williston to meet the needs of our community."
The new facility also includes operating rooms and recovery rooms that will allow for outpatient procedures and operations where a patient stays in the hospital less than one full day.
That will help Mercy continue to qualify for its current Medicare reimbursement rates.
Williston Mayor Ward Koeser says an addition such as this helps bring families to town.
(Ward Koeser, Williston Mayor) "When they come here to visit there's a few things they look at. They want to know what the schools are like, and they want to know what the medical facilities look like and I am so pleased now to have this here - it's a huge investment."
Today's ribbon cutting comes just a couple of weeks after Mercy broke ground on a new cancer care center at the hospital.