At least 100 people were on hand on the afternoon of June 27, when HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield broke ground on its new outpatient center for women and children that will house providers from SIU Medicine, HSHS Medical Group and St. John’s Hospital.
Those in attendance included leaders from all three of the places as well as several members of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis community, a number of physicians, personnel from varied areas of the hospital, Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder and others from the Springfield community.
Father Charlie Hart, OFM, clinical pastoral education supervisor at St. John’s, offered the opening prayer at the event. Next, Father Charlie and Sister Maureen O’Connor, OSF, provincial superior, blessed the building site.
According to a press release from St. John’s, the new 85,000-square-foot outpatient center will provide comprehensive services for women and children that will improve care coordination by providing numerous services under one roof. Patients will be able to see their physicians, receive follow-up and diagnostic services with easy access to St. John’s Hospital and St. John’s Children’s Hospital.
“Providing access, convenience and the best possible care for our patients has been at the forefront of our minds in this planning process,” said Dr. Charles L. Lucore, president and CEO of HSHS St. John’s Hospital. “We want to provide an optimal outpatient environment for women and children to receive care and physicians to practice as we carry on the mission of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis.”
“This facility will allow our physicians to coordinate in-patient and out-patient specialty care and primary care for women and children in a convenient location to ensure all aspects of care are done effectively and efficiently,” said Dr. Jerry Kruse, dean of SIU School of Medicine and CEO of SIU Medicine.
This $48.4 million project includes a four-story medical facility, parking garage and a sky bridge across Ninth Street that will connect to St. John’s Children’s Hospital. Patients and families coming to the new outpatient center will have access to a lab and pharmacy; pediatric rehabilitation with an expanded therapy gym; pediatric cardiology services and diagnostic testing; mammography and other imaging tests; pediatric orthopedics and general surgery; maternal-fetal medicine; pediatric multi-specialty clinic; plus obstetrics and gynecology.
A café and healing garden will also be part of the new facility. “Landscaping will provide a quiet, healing garden that will incorporate elements to memorialize the 1908 Springfield Race Riots,” said E.J. Kuiper, HSHS Central Illinois Division president and CEO. “We are also planning a formal remembrance inside the building to highlight the importance of the site that remains to the south of the site and the HSHS Sisters’ role in the healing process for the victims and the community.”
Also acting as speakers and members of the official groundbreaking were Melinda Clark, CEO of HSHS Medical Group and Stuart Armstrong of Landmark Healthcare Facilities, LLC.
The planning committee for the building is still working on interior design concepts but is hoping to identify a way to integrate children’s artwork into the final design. The HSHS St. John’s Hospital Outpatient Center for Women and Children is expected to be complete in August 2018.