An Investment in Wellness
OSF Center for Health - Streator renovation plans part of new health care model
"What they said they were going to do, they did."
That's how Streator, Illinois Mayor Jimmie Lansford sums up the commitment made by OSF HealthCare to make sure the region's residents had access to medical care.
Lansford says the closing of Streator's only hospital in early 2016 was devastating, but he also understands the need for health care delivery to evolve, especially in rural communities. He believes OSF's establishment of a Center for Health and its plans for a collaborative wellness initiative has been very generous and that it's now time move forward and work together.
"Streator is a community that, you know, they're very generous and they're very loyal and they're very charitable," says Streator Mayor Jimmie Lansford. "And you can tell them something, but they really don't believe it unless they can see it, or touch it - or feel it. And then they will believe it. And, so they - no doubt now."
The announcement of a $30.5 million renovation for the Center for Health - Streator is a key element of OSF's overall plan to promote health and wellness in a community and region that has a limited population, as well as transportation, but still must be served.
"Looking at what impacts the health of a community, we know that only 20-percent of that is clinical care," says Don Damron, Vice President of Ambulatory Services for OSF HealthCare Saint Elizabeth Medical Center. "So, what's been challenging to us is a good balance of providing that medical clinical care that we have historically, building and renovating the facility in a way that is innovative and is forthcoming to what is in the future plans for the community and health delivery across the country."
Lots of research and groundwork had to to be accomplished before OSF entered this next phase of building a healthy community. Efforts in similar regions were studied, residents were surveyed about the status of their and their health needs and collaborations with wellness-related organizations were established and continue to be.
President of OSF HealthCare Saint Elizabeth Medical Center, Ken Beutke, is confident the success of this model will be proven, but admits it will take time. He says, however, the community needs to own it. They must understand and increase awareness of their wellness and health.
"Once we've done that, then we have to say - so what's most important to you as a community to address first," says OSF HealthCare Saint Elizabeth Medical Center, Ken Beutke. "What do you see as the greatest need? And then from there get community champions - not hospital champions - but community champions who are willing to lead whatever initiatives that the community feel is the most important."
Both exterior and interior renovations are planned for the Spring Street facility. These include a new entrance and lobby, upgrades to registration, with the addition of a tech bar for computer users. OSF specialty clinics, rehabilitation, primary care and diagnostic imaging improvements are planned. To advance it's partnership with local residents and organizations, OSF is adding community education and meeting rooms.
"We want an environment where people are coming there, not to come to the old hospital when I'm sick and injured, but to come there to be well, to stay well, to get information and to get screened - to do all those things," says Beutke. Maybe it's even to socialize. Because as social determinates, that's a big factor for some, of even the elderly, is just socialization."
Beutke says working together to create a Center for Health environment that is efficient and a good experience for the patient only furthers the trust and confidence OSF has been building in the community.
Don Damron, Vice President of Ambulatory Services, says it's truly a team effort.
"OSF doesn't need to come in with all the answers," says Damron. "And I think what we are trying to do to gain some of the trust in the community, as well, as we work on these deliverables, is really take the opportunity to listen to the community and not deliver what we think they need, but what they want and need."
Mayor Lansford says excitement and confidence in the promises OSF has made and delivered has grown.
"What OSF had said they were going to do is what they're following through with," says Mayor Lansford. "And - if you give me your word that you're going to do it and I can see it that you are going to do it, then why wouldn't you trust them?"
Some renovation work - like the demolition of St. Francis Hall - is already done. Work on the Center for Health will be done in phases and will start in January with completion scheduled for summer 2019.