After eight months of construction, Hudson Hospital & Clinic's new emergency center is open and treating patients, company officials said this week.

The $5 million construction project doubled the size of the emergency center and added 12 new patient rooms to the hospital in Hudson, Wis. The 7,522-square-foot addition also created a larger trauma bay, rooms for interdisciplinary care teams and more space for the portable, modern equipment increasingly used since the hospital was built in 2003.

"What makes this project all the more extraordinary is that it happened in the middle of a global pandemic," said Tom Borowski, Hudson Hospital president, who thanked community donors for making the project a reality.

About $1 million of the construction costs were paid for with community donations and grants. Linda Robertson and Warren Schneider, longtime Hudson residents who have used the hospital and emergency center for care, supported the fundraising campaign.

"We've witnessed the many ways that Hudson Hospital & Clinic has contributed to this community and the new emergency center is another commitment for the good of the community," Robertson said.

Minneapolis-based Kraus-Anderson Construction was the contractor on the project.

The hospital finished just in time for Hudson resident Mina Boury. She needed care after tripping and suffering a head injury while out with her dogs. She drove herself to the emergency room but didn't want to leave the dogs in the car.

She asked a hospital employee outside the emergency center if she could leave the dogs with him while she got treatment. She just learned that her new dog sitter was none other than the hospital president, Borowski.

"I didn't have a clue who he was," Boury said. "When I found out, I couldn't believe he was doing that for me. I was so grateful."