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A Publication of WTVP

Being able to serve all the patients who come to us is our primary priority. The face of healthcare is changing, and healthcare providers need to make changes as well. OSF Saint Francis has seen a steady increase in admissions in all areas of the healthcare arena. As a regional referral center, we’ve seen a seven to 10 percent increase per year (over the last five years) in the number of patients coming from outside of the Tri-County Area. Our projections indicate that that number will continue to increase.

Aside from that, healthcare is becoming more “consumer-driven.” You can hop on the World Wide Web and research the treatment options you have and the facilities in which you will be treated. To prepare for this changing world, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Illinois are just two years away from the opening of our facility expansion called the Milestone Project.

In 2006, the Health Facilities Planning Board approved our Certificate of Need for the project. Since then, we have broken ground, erected steel and will soon be hitting another “milestone” of sorts. In September, we will celebrate the placing of the final beam on the structure during a “topping-off ceremony.” Then it will be full steam ahead until the opening of this state-of-the-art building.

Eighty percent of the 10-story building will house the Children’s Hospital of Illinois. This will bring together, in one place, the many pediatric services we offer in downstate Illinois. The Milestone Project will increase the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit by 13 beds and the Pediatric ICU by nine beds. There will be one floor of cardiology which will connect with our existing Heart Hospital floor in the Gerlach building. As the only Level One trauma center in the area, our “football field”-sized emergency department will be better equipped to handle the 72,000-plus patients we treat each year in the emergency department. The ED will also house a separate section to treat children under 18.

This project benefits more than just OSF Saint Francis and healthcare in general—it will benefit the economy of central Illinois. It has created 850 construction jobs and will add hundreds of additional jobs in nursing and healthcare. It is sometimes difficult to grasp the true size of large projects like Milestone. Even when you know the numbers, the magnitude is still a bit overwhelming. The Milestone Project will use 47,000 square feet of glass, 22,000 cubic yards of concrete, 143,000 pounds of rebar (used for reinforcing concrete) and nearly 10 million pounds of steel.
This new facility will help us to better “serve persons with the greatest care and love in a community that celebrates the gift of life.” And that is the OSF HealthCare mission. iBi

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