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St. Elizabeth's Announces Plans for Replacement Hospital; Re-envisioned Belleville Campus
Technologically Advanced Regional Hospital and Renovated Belleville Campus Will Transform Health Care in Metro East Region
Belleville, IL – Joined by community supporters, building trades leaders and elected officials from throughout the Metro East region, leaders of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) on Wednesday announced plans to build a new, state-of-the-art hospital along Interstate 64 and Green Mount Road in St. Clair County. St. Elizabeth’s and HSHS also outlined plans to deliver health care services at the existing St. Elizabeth’s campus in Belleville.
“After years of planning, I am happy to announce that the St. Elizabeth’s Board of Directors has approved building a regional hospital and medical office building on 114 acres of land located seven miles from our current hospital campus. This approval was made with the concurrence of Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, the sponsoring religious community of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and HSHS,” said Maryann Reese, President and CEO of St. Elizabeth’s. “This project will provide area residents with access to a state-of-the art medical facility, boost the local economy, and enhance the quality of life for Southwestern Illinois. St. Elizabeth’s also will re-envision our existing campus with input from Belleville residents.”
The location of St. Elizabeth’s replacement hospital will be more centrally located for the entire Metro East region that St. Elizabeth’s serves, and be more accessible to underserved patients than the hospital’s current campus. In addition, Reese said St. Elizabeth’s will continue to provide a range of outpatient services and maintain various support functions at its Belleville campus.
The new St. Elizabeth’s will continue to be a teaching hospital and will be designed for the future of health care delivery. The facility will include 144 private patient rooms, an emergency department, state-of-the art operating rooms, an advanced intensive care unit, and inpatient rehabilitation. St. Elizabeth’s plans to offer a wide array of inpatient and outpatient services at the new facility, including cancer care, modern birthing suites, telehealth consultations, featuring accredited stroke care, and award-winning heart care.
“In addition to providing the most advanced health care for the Metro East region, our new hospital will be better able to serve those who need us most,” Reese said. “Our 140- year-long commitment to care for all residents in the Metro East region is as strong as ever, and the location for St. Elizabeth’s will provide quicker and more convenient access for many residents currently living in underserved neighborhoods.”
William Lyke, Chairman of the St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Board of Directors, and a longtime resident of Belleville, said it was paramount to the board to continue providing select health services at the Belleville campus as part of its plans for the regional replacement hospital for the Metro East. “The Board of Directors determined that a new, technologically advanced hospital was essential to keep pace with and shape the future of health care in our region,” he said. “At the same time, we need to keep an important presence at our Belleville campus.”
The St. Elizabeth’s Health Center – Belleville will offer residents a same-day ambulatory clinic that will feature radiology and laboratory services, primary and specialty care physicians’ offices, and physical, occupational and Back to Work therapy. Many administrative services also will stay in Belleville, such as the HSHS Southern Illinois Division business offices, marketing and staff education.
“All of these plans underscore the commitment of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis to our mission of charity care and to serving those who are most in need in our community,” said Sister Jomary Trstensky, OSF, Provincial Superior of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis. “We consider our community to be the entire Metro East region, so these plans will help us move closer to where the most patients are in need.”
Reese said Wednesday’s announcement follows years of strategic planning that determined building a replacement hospital to be the most cost-effective and patient-focused alternative. The current 60-year-old building is outdated, deteriorating and inefficient. “It would be cost-prohibitive, and a poor use of health care dollars to attempt to retrofit the old campus,” Reese said. “In addition, we are landlocked and unable to grow at our current site.”
As a major employer in the region, St. Elizabeth’s will continue to be an economic driver in Southwestern Illinois. This project could create hundreds of jobs. At the peak of construction, there could be up to 300 trades workers on the site.
“The building and construction trades are pleased to support St. Elizabeth’s project because of St. Elizabeth’s commitment to staying and expanding in the region,” said Dale Stewart, Executive Secretary/Treasurer of the Southwestern Illinois Building & Construction Trades Council. “These plans open the door for additional health and wellness facilities in the area, which means more jobs and stable employment for our members and Metro East residents.” The Council represents more than 10,000 trades workers in 12 counties.
“The St. Elizabeth’s replacement hospital, the medical office building, and the St. Elizabeth’s Health Center – Belleville will foster collaborations with other health care providers in the region at a time when more medical services are being provided in outpatient settings,” Reese said. She noted that approximately 15,000 Metro East patients are admitted to hospitals outside of Illinois each year. With the new facilities, St. Elizabeth’s and other providers will be able to work collectively to provide the best care to Metro East community members in Illinois, she said.
The location of the replacement hospital also will move St. Elizabeth’s closer to Scott Air Force Base and the community hospitals that refer patients to St. Elizabeth’s, such as HSHS affiliate hospitals St. Joseph’s in Highland and St. Joseph’s in Breese, as well as Greenville Regional Hospital and Washington County Hospital.
“Health care continues to change dramatically. We want to provide the best health care services to our entire community in the most cost-effective ways possible. The plans we outlined today will allow St. Elizabeth’s to continue serving the Metro East community with excellent health care far into the future,” Reese said.
To gain approval from the State of Illinois for these plans, St. Elizabeth’s will submit its application this summer to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board for a Certificate of Need. It is anticipated that the Review Board will review the application later this year.
To learn more about and to sign a letter of support for the project, please visit www.supportsteliz.org.
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About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System is a Roman Catholic health care mission founded to continue the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. Sponsored by the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care framed in traditional values taught by St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi. It is dedicated to serving all people, including the poor and the needy, at each of its 13 Local Systems and physician practices in Illinois (Belleville, Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Highland, Litchfield, Springfield and Streator) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org.