OSF HealthCare Expansion Impacts Rockford Economic Development
Opening of new North Tower seen as catalyst for community growth
Goals have been achieved.
When OSF HealthCare first broke ground on its new North Tower on the campus of OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center in 2015, the primary aim was to provide all inpatients with a private room. Check.
It was also to enhance and create new health care amenities, like rejuvenation services to an upgraded Women's Center, a convenient retail pharmacy and PromptCare immediate care clinic, plus a demonstration kitchen for patients and the community. Check, check, check and check.
Beyond that, however, the project has and will continue to have an impact on a Rockford region economy that is tied very closely to health care, collectively representing more than 15 thousand jobs.
"An addition like this further creates a center for health care quality in the region and draws in more visitors, more patients who need care - who need quality care from our institutions," says Einar Forsman, Rockford Chamber of Commerce President. "And this is a big step in terms of adding great quality, while giving privacy and dignity to the patients."
Those sentiments are echoed by Rockford Mayor, Tom McNamara, who says while any investment in the community is important, the OSF project is really special.
"One, I was born here," says Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara. "Two, you look at the amount of investment, the number of jobs that this created, with 700 construction jobs. That is phenomenal. To me, though, something more special that the bricks and mortar, is the investment OSF is making into our people. Making sure that all their clients and all their patients have private rooms. 78 new private rooms, to me, says that OSF cares tremendously about their patients and about their community."
The impact of the OSF investment is also not lost on our health care partners in the community. Philip Eaton, President and CEO of Rosecrance Health Network, a Rockford-based subsance abuse and mental health treatment services organization, says it's no surprise to see OSF HealthCare again being a leader in advancing the quality of their facilities for those they serve. That includes care and service to clients of Rosecrance.
"I have worked with OSF Saint Anthny Hospital for over 40 years," says Philip Eaton, President and CEO of Rosecrance Health Network. "And have always been witness to the consistent effort to be a leader in providing quality for patient care and this is just another example."
And the community commitment goes beyond dollars and cents for Mayor McNamara. He says OSF HealthCare has always been a good corporate citizen with Mission Partners willing to do what it takes to make the community a better place to live.
"I have the opportunity to go to literally dozens of neighborhood meetings every single month,: says Mayor McNamara. "A number of corporate and business meetings, every single month. I get to serve on a number of boards. "I can tell you, I can't go to a single meeting, that one of the OSF employees is not at - and not just attending to attend. They are actually participating in being an active leader in these organizations. So, we're really fortunate to have a fantastic health system in OSF."
The North Tower at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center officially opened and began serving patients on April 16.