Mercy moves into old Dean building

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Gina Duwe
Sunday, January 12, 2014

What is it?: The building at 580 Washington St., Janesville, formerly housed the Riverview Clinic of Dean Medical Center. The clinic moved to its new home on the east side of Janesville in a complex partnered with St. Mary's Janesville Hospital, which opened in January 2012.

Mercy Health System bought the 110,000-square-foot Washington Street building in 2012 for $2.1 million. The building is adjacent to the Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center complex.

What's happening?: About $550,000 in infrastructure improvements were made in the building, which sat empty until last year. Several Mercy departments have moved in and new “MercyCare Building” signs are now on the facility.

What do I need there?: Patients and the general public most likely will visit the building for the MercyCare insurance services while jobseekers also will visit human resources. People are welcome to pay their bills in person or sign up for insurance.

Phone numbers for all departments remain the same, and the main number for the building is (608) 755-5362.

What's in the building?: Mercy's marketing department was the first to move in last April. Other departments have followed in the last few months, and a total of 450 employees now occupy the building.

The departments include:

—Mercy Regional EMS Training Center, which moved from the basement of the cancer center. The move allowed the training center to double the size of its programs, said Mercy Vice President Barb Bortner.

—Human resources and MercyCare, which occupy the main floor.

—Accounts payable and coding, which occupy the third floor.

—Information systems and finance departments, which occupy the second floor.

All of the business departments moved from Mercy's business center on Palmer Drive on Janesville's east side.

—Community education room, which is a meeting space that accommodates 60 to 70 people and will be used for community events, classes and health and wellness events.

—The former surgery center remains as is. Mercy is still assessing what to do with it, Bortner said.

The building also includes a coffee shop for employees, lactation areas for new mothers and an area that will be used for employee wellness and fitness, she said. 

Why?: It made sense for Mercy to buy the building because of its location next to its main campus, Bortner said, “so we could consolidate our services in some fashion and become more efficient by having our services all in a closer proximity.”

Mercy business departments are now in the Mercy-owned building, rather than in the space it leased on Palmer Drive, said Dave Kurtz, vice president.

The marketing department's move out of the Henry Palmer Building at Mineral Point Avenue and North River Road allowed Mercy to expand its mental health programs after hearing from physicians, referral sources, police and the community about the increasing need.

WINGS—Working Interdependently for New Growth and Stabilization—and the Adult Day Treatment programs for mental health and substance abuse moved from the hospital to the space. It doubled the space, and the programs filled quickly, Vice President Dan Colby said. The programs went from serving about 34 people on a daily basis to almost 60, he said.

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