St. Elizabeth's to build replacement hospital in O'Fallon, Ill.

October 1, 2014

St. Elizabeth's Hospital of Belleville, Ill., plans to build a $300 million, five-story replacement hospital and ambulatory care center in O'Fallon, Ill., which is 7 miles from its current location.

The new facility will have 144 private patient rooms — the current campus is licensed for 338 beds — and will be a teaching hospital, like the current facility. The replacement hospital will have an emergency department; intensive care unit; operating rooms; birth suites and cancer, stroke and cardiac services departments. The campus also will have an ambulatory care center and physicians' offices building.

Ill senator giving an interview
Illinois State Sen. William R. Haine, D-56th district, gives an interview during a press conference at St. Elizabeth's Hospital of Belleville, Ill., where the hospital announced its move.

The O'Fallon campus will be called "St. Elizabeth's Hospital," and the Belleville campus, "St. Elizabeth's Health Center–Belleville."

The legacy facility will offer outpatient services, including an ambulatory clinic, a physical and occupational therapy clinic, and laboratory services; and it will house primary care and specialist offices and administrative offices. According to published reports, the mayor of Belleville and other city officials are opposing the relocation of the community hospital. Brian Reardon, system director of communications and public relations officer for St. Elizabeth's parent, Hospital Sisters Health System of Springfield, Ill., said hospital representatives have been meeting with Belleville officials and residents to get their input on other ways the legacy campus can be used as well.

St. Elizabeth's leaders said the 60-year-old campus is outdated, deteriorating and inefficient. Reardon said that the old hospital was built at a time when more procedures were done on an inpatient basis and patients stayed in the hospital longer. "It would be much more expensive and would take twice as long to renovate the current hospital to create a 21st century facility," said Reardon.

The O'Fallon location is near Interstate 64, in a fast-growing community that is attracting increasing numbers of primary care and specialty providers. Reardon said when clinicians are in close proximity to other practitioners, and particularly specialists, as they are along the I-64 corridor, they can deliver care more efficiently to patients. Also, according to analysis by St. Elizabeth's, two-thirds of St. Clair County, Ill., and Madison County, Ill., residents living in medically underserved census tracts will have a reduced drive time to the O'Fallon location, as compared to the Belleville site.

St. Elizabeth's has a certificate of need application pending before the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board. It includes more than 30 letters from government leaders, businesspeople, unions, patients, medical providers and others, supporting the construction. St. Elizabeth's leaders anticipate that board will consider the certificate of need application by the end of the year. Provided St. Elizabeth's secures the state's approval to build, hospital leaders say construction would take 24 to 30 months.


Copyright © 2014 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Copyright © 2014 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.