16:13 PM

Transforming Health Care in the Riverbend

Leaders of OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center in Alton announced a series of new investments and actions Thursday, designed to transform health care for residents of the Riverbend community. These plans underscore OSF HealthCare’s commitment to improving access and providing quality health care to patients in a setting close to home.

OSF Saint Anthony’s is continuing its progression to a new model, where patients are at the center of health care, and services are built around what patients need and want.

“For us, it’s thinking about what the needs are in our community here in the Riverbend,” said Ajay Pathak, President and CEO of OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center. “Looking back on the conversations we had with our patients, with our community, thinking back to our community health needs assessment, and understanding ultimately that access is critical for our patients – we want to be able to meet those needs and really evolve and change our services to better serve our community.”


The health center is adding convenient sites throughout the Riverbend region and creating care teams that provide a coordinated, holistic approach to the health care experience.

“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, F.S.G.M., Chief Operating Officer at OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center. “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.”


Highlights of the OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center plans include the following investments and benefits to the community:

  • Building a new comprehensive cancer center with new technology, services and physicians all in one location on the Saint Anthony’s campus.
  • Developing a larger, patient-centered network of primary care services that adopt a team-based care model and improve access to care.
  • Opening new primary care sites at multiple convenient locations throughout the Riverbend area.
  • Recruiting additional primary care physicians and providers to join OSF Saint Anthony’s team of talented, high quality doctors already here in the Riverbend area.
  • Renovating the Saint Anthony’s Health Center facility, including enhancements and new technology for the Emergency Department, to accommodate a growing number of patients, as well as enhancements to the Intensive Care Unit and other specialty services
  • Continuing to elevate the patient experience with improved flow, processes, communication and scheduling.

OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center will move toward a single, unified campus over the course of this year, making transitions over the next nine months or so.

“The timing is really right. When you look at the changes that are taking place in health care on a broader level, the entire landscape has been changing both on a state and federal level. But the one thing that doesn't change for us is our mission and the need for access for our patients. So we want to continue to move toward that trajectory and that goal,” said Pathak.


In light of the changing health care landscape at both the federal and state levels, OSF HealthCare strives to remain on the cutting edge of care. This new model of care reflects that.

“I see Saint Anthony’s playing a very pivotal role in the future of health care,” said Pathak. “It’s really developing that relationship and thinking about patients on the wellness side of health care, as well as the illness side of health care. We’re going to really attempt to do that by focusing on primary care and building that connection to our patients and making sure that their health is maintained and providing them a good direction on clinical decisions.” 


To make this plan a reality, some services and programs will be moved closer to one another, and during this transition, some services will be moved from the Saint Clare’s campus. Those are:

  • Psychological Services will move to a more convenient location in the community. OSF Saint Anthony’s Community Health Needs Assessment report identified these services as one of the top priorities for the region.
  • Outpatient Therapies, such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, will relocate to another site where they will be easily accessible and convenient.
  • Sleep Lab will move to a different location.
  • Home Care and Hospice Care will move off campus into the community.
  • Pharmacy and Lab Services will be integrated into OSF Saint Anthony’s main campus.

“The way we developed our plan really thinks about our patients, first and foremost. Also our community,” he said. “It’s not a plan for Saint Anthony’s, but how we can serve better our community and really impact their health and wellness going forward.”

Sister Anselma agreed, adding the new investments will ultimately help OSF Saint Anthony’s continue its mission – serving with the greatest care and love.

“All of these changes just paint for us a great opportunity to reach more and more people, and ultimately that’s what we’re here for. That’s what brings us joy day in and day out. That’s what brings us passion. That’s what we really connect with every single day.”

View sisteranselma4.mp4