A Publication of WTVP

It’s an exciting time for Hopedale Medical Complex (HMC), which is located 25 miles southeast of Peoria in southern Tazewell County. The surrounding communities and HMC’s employees are anxiously awaiting the start of construction on a $20 million, modern addition to the hospital, tentatively scheduled to start this summer. The Complex hopes to raise $2 million in an upcoming capital giving campaign titled “Keeping the Flame,” in memory of founder Dr. Lawrence Rossi, Sr. The kickoff is planned for March 2nd, the anniversary of Dr. Rossi’s birthday.

You might be surprised to find that one of the best rural healthcare models in the country lies just down the road in tiny Hopedale. Over the past 55 years, the Complex has grown from a small 20-bed hospital to a 25-bed hospital, a 74-bed nursing home, a 70-unit licensed assisted and independent living facility, a large wellness center, and four outpatient offices (in Delavan, Manito, Mackinaw and Atlanta). Each of these divisions is an integral part of the Hopedale Medical Foundation’s charitable mission of putting the patient first and delivering outstanding care, 365 days a year.

The Hospital has a 24-hour emergency room, intensive care unit, diagnostic imaging unit, laboratory, and a general and advanced surgery service. A Medicare-certified, “swing bed” unit is available for patients needing physical therapy before transitioning back to their homes.

Pioneering Spirit
The late Dr. Lawrence Rossi, Sr. founded Hopedale Hospital in 1955 with the support of local citizens, and, in his words, using “no government money.” Today, Dr. Rossi’s legacy continues with a renewed dedication to healthcare and wellness. Indeed, the Complex has been a pioneer in several areas.

The Hopedale Nursing Home, built in 1958, was the first of its kind in Illinois, designed from original plans. Dr. Rossi noticed that many hospital patients were staying too long in an acute care setting, and the nursing home offered an excellent alternative for long-term convalescence. It was physically connected to the hospital for better resident care. Dr. Rossi created an activities director position to keep residents active, the first such position in Illinois.

In 1964, Hopedale House followed the nursing home, and it is believed to be the first assisted living facility in Illinois. Hopedale Hall opened in 1985 as the first alcohol rehabilitation program designed exclusively for the elderly. These were both Dr. Rossi’s original ideas, and were very successful ventures.

Hopedale Hospital was the first downstate hospital to have an open magnet Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner and the first to allow podiatrists on a surgical medical staff.

Diversity of Services
Today, Hopedale Medical Complex offers an extensive variety of services. The modern, 34,000-square-foot Wellness Center, which opened in 2002, is a prime example. There are three warm water therapy pools (including a 75-foot junior Olympic pool), an indoor walking track, new cardio equipment (2010), massage therapists, a fully-staffed sports medicine and rehabilitation department, and a gym. Members enjoy free classes including Pilates, yoga and BodyPump. Five area high schools utilize HMC’s certified athletic trainers.

Senior living services at HMC are also unique because the continuum-of-care services include a hospital on the same campus. HMC’s residents can visit their doctors or access the ER, Wellness Center and pharmacy…all in one peaceful, rural location. These benefits, coupled with reasonable price structures, make the assisted/independent living (Commons) and Hopedale Nursing Home great values.

Established in 1993 to fill a void in the region, the Midwest Vascular Institute is proud to have the full-time services of two board-certified, fellowship-trained vascular surgeons. (A vascular surgeon deals with diseases of the arteries, veins and lymphatic system.) HMC was one of the first hospitals in the area to establish an arteriography suite inside the operating room. This allows a combination of stenting and open surgical procedures to be done more efficiently. The patient’s progress is followed by the Midwest Vascular Institute’s comprehensive vascular registry and stroke prevention specialists.

Other services offered at the Complex include: CT, mammography, ultrasound, a sleep lab and outpatient nutrition services.

As a not-for-profit organization, HMC’s mission includes helping those who cannot afford to pay for their care. HMC’s “Community Care” financial assistance program provides financial assistance to several hundred citizens each year. The Foundation sponsors a dozen scholarships for area high school students and employees, having awarded over $400,000 since 1980.

Unique Model for Care
Many of the physicians at Hopedale Medical Complex are unique in that they practice primary care, but are also board-certified surgeons. Three of these doctors just happen to be sons of the late founder. HMC has proven through its own research that patients being cared for and “followed” by a single multi-specialist physician achieve better results in the long term.

Lighting the Way Forward
Construction of the new hospital addition at Hopedale Medical Complex is expected to begin this year, with ground breaking tentatively scheduled for May. The new facility will connect the Medical Arts building to the original structure, and is expected to achieve silver or gold LEED certification.

In fact, “green” technology will be used throughout the new hospital. Renewable materials are being used for the construction, and solar power will contribute to the hospital’s energy plant. Several other energy-saving options are being studied for use in the project. They include power from wind turbines and someday, perhaps, generating electricity from methane gas from a nearby landfill.

The hospital will maintain its existing 25-bed scale, but rooms will be bright, much larger and adjoin on one another so patients’ families can spend the night next to their loved ones. There will be an all-new ICU, ER and lobby area, and homegrown, organic foods from an adjacent organic garden will be served to the patients. The new hospital is expected to be completed in early 2012.

Hopedale Medical Complex is poised to continue to provide innovative healthcare services to the citizens of rural central Illinois. Keeping the flame lit, with the help of dedicated doctors and staff, ensures Dr. Rossi’s dream will stay alive for many more years to come. iBi