A Publication of WTVP

As the largest tertiary, academic medical center in downstate Illinois, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Illinois have established a solid local and regional presence over the years through a variety of unique medical services of which OSF is the only local provider.

The Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis recognized that to provide and expand these high-quality, sub-specialty services, they had to develop a well-defined regional strategy, which they began implementing in the early 1990s.

Since that time, OSF has acquired a diverse range of physician practices and developed a presence in 34 counties that represent about 2.2 million people. The support of our eight regional affiliate hospitals in addition to the five other OSF Healthcare System hospitals in the state have helped OSF provide specialists and sub-specialists to areas that otherwise would not be able to have these medical services.

Without a regional outreach, we would not have a Children’s Hospital with 88 dedicated pediatric sub-specialists, an organ transplant program, a surgical robotic program with five specialties, a growing gynecology-oncology service, the Illinois Neurological Institute, a Heart Hospital, stroke and cardiac networks with some of the fastest response times in the state, the only Level I Trauma network in the region with the busiest Life Flight program in the state, and the only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the area. In addition, Saint Francis provides a litany of unique cancer treatment services to the region, including Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), the RapidArc Trilogy system, Gamma Knife and CyberKnife, that set our cancer program apart from any cancer program downstate.

Another important partner in providing these regional services is the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. The dean, Dr. Sara Rusch, and her team have been valuable assets that afford those completing their medical training the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business through nine physician residencies and five Fellowship programs that are only available at Saint Francis

Since the early ‘90s, this regional influence has had a significant impact on the City of Peoria’s economic well-being. Approximately 34 percent of the patients cared for at Saint Francis are from outside the Tri-County Area. Those transported here often have significant medical needs and spend several days—if not weeks or more—receiving inpatient care.

The Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has estimated that outside visitors to Peoria spend about $130 per day on food, lodging, fuel and other retail items. If that regional patient at Saint Francis has just one visitor per day over the course of his or her stay, that adds up to about a $9 million impact on Peoria’s retail bottom line. Typically, these critically ill regional patients have three to four times that number of visitors, so the economic impact on Peoria is probably closer to $30 million a year!

The vision the OSF Sisters established over 133 years ago—which was to provide care to all in Peoria—and then again nearly two decades ago to expand regionally, working with the City and surrounding counties, is a true testament to how collaboration can benefit us all. iBi