04:32 AM

St. Louis Business Journal: Saint Anthony's to spend millions to shift Alton operations


Angela Mueller, reporter with the St. Louis Business Journal, wrote the following story about the work OSF HealthCare is leading in Alton. 

OSF Saint Anthony's Health Center in Alton, Illinois, plans to invest more than $15 million in a new plan to realign its services between its main campus and its nearby Saint Clare’s Hospital facility.

Ajay Pathak, president and CEO of Saint Anthony’s, said the $15 million figure is a conservative estimate for the overall cost of a plan that includes building a new cancer center on Saint Anthony’s campus, adding new primary care sites, and renovating the emergency department and intensive care unit at Saint Anthony’s.

“It’s a significant investment for our community,” Pathak said.

The plan also includes relocating nearly all of the services currently located in the 58-bed Saint Clare’s facility, which is also located in Alton. The hospital said the changes are part of an effort to move toward a “single, unified campus.”

Whether the Saint Clare’s campus will remain a part of the OSF system after the services are relocated remains up in the air. Pathak said Saint Anthony’s is holding discussions with community leaders about potential uses for the property — which include everything from an assisted living facility to retail development.

“What it ultimately looks like will be precipitated by the discussions we have with the community,” Pathak said.

Pathak said services such as outpatient therapies and psychological services will be moved out of the Saint Clare’s building to storefront locations in the community in an effort to provide easier access for patients. He said Saint Anthony’s is considering real estate it currently owns as well as other options for the new locations.

Other services that will move out of Saint Clare’s include the sleep lab, diabetes services, home care and hospice care, and pharmacy and lab services. OSF also plans to discontinue by the end of the year the inpatient rehabilitation services, inpatient skilled nursing, adult day care services and outpatient wound care services now located at Saint Clare’s.

Oncology services will remain at Saint Clare’s for the next two years while a new free-standing cancer center is built on the Saint Anthony’s campus.

Saint Anthony’s plans to continue to operate the Saint Clare’s Villa retirement community until a buyer is found for the facility.

The realignment of services will come with job cuts, mainly from the inpatient rehab and skilled nursing facility at Saint Clare’s. Pathak said the number of jobs to be eliminated has not been determined yet but that the cuts will take place gradually over the course of the next year.

Saint Anthony’s also plans to add additional ambulatory care clinics across the region.

“We want to be very convenient for the needs of the people of the community, from children all the way up through the last stages of life,” said Sister M. Anselma Belongea, chief operating officer at Saint Anthony’s. “So we are continuing to adapt where, how, when and who is going to be there to care for people as they come through our doors.”

Saint Anthony’s Health Center, with 208 beds, reported a loss of $1.35 million on 2015 revenue of $74.97 million. The hospital joined Peoria-based OSF Healthcare System in 2014.