Janesville80.3°

New hospital planned in Janesville

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JAMES P. LEUTE
April 10, 2008
— Saying Janesville residents want more health care options, Dean Health System and SSM Health Care of Wisconsin announced today they will build a $140 million hospital and medical campus on the city’s southeast side.

The 50-bed hospital and adjacent physician office complex will open in 2010 on 50 acres that Dean bought in 2000 on the southeast corner of Highway 11 and Interstate 90.


The new complex will create 350 jobs in Janesville, said Craig Samitt, Dean’s president and chief executive officer. While Dean will build the physician complex, SSM, the parent company of St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, will build the hospital.


Dean currently has about 50 doctors and 200 employees at its Riverview and Northview clinic in Janesville.


Samitt said Dean plans to move most of its physicians, staff and services from the Riverview Clinic to the new facility. It will continue to assess staffing and location needs to serve the city’s west side, he said.


“We’ve listened to the community, and the community would like more choices in their health care services,” Samitt said.


Mary Starmann-Harrison, president and CEO of SSM Health Care of Wisconsin, said studies show that the Janesville area will need 100 more hospital beds by 2011 and that 40 percent of residents leave Janesville for their health care.


“We think that 40 percent would rather stay in Janesville,” she said.


“A second hospital in Janesville will benefit everyone—the patients, their families and employers.”


The new hospital would be the fifth within 21 miles of downtown Janesville. Others are:


-- Mercy Hospital, Janesville.


-- Beloit Memorial Hospital—10 miles.


-- Edgerton Hospital and Health Services—12 miles.


-- Fort Memorial Hospital—21 miles.


Given the demographics and surveys, the need for the new hospital is clear, Samitt said.


“The community wants a choice in health care, and, together with SSM Health Care of Wisconsin, we are well-positioned to provide it,” he said.


Starmann-Harrison acknowledged that some people will consider the new hospital, which will be a sister hospital of St. Mary’s in Madison, to be an unnecessary duplication in the Janesville market that will drive up health care costs.


Others, she said, will agree with Dean and St. Mary’s officials that competition will drive better efficiency and quality of health care.


The competition also could lower costs, Samitt said.


The community asked for a choice, Starmann-Harrison said, and the data and demographics support the new medical complex.


Javon Bea, Mercy’s president and CEO, said this morning that Mercy remains committed to Janesville.


“Mercy Health System offers its patients comprehensive access to services that span the care continuum from birth through end of life,” he said in a news release. “We will continue to offer high quality service and compassionate care in Janesville and the surrounding area.


“Our physicians are respected members of this community with an established history of providing our patients with superior care.”


Mercy, which operates a 275-bed hospital in Janesville, announced last month that it will build a $10 million trauma center and office complex on its Janesville campus. It is building a new parking ramp to serve its new cardiology care and imaging suite, which is under construction on the east side of Mercy Hospital.


Bea said Mercy Hospital is renovating all of its rooms to private patient rooms and has recently expanded neurosurgery and cardiac care services to support its new trauma surgeons.


Starmann-Harrison said the new complex will be built on an open site, which allows for the construction of a state-of-the-art, patient-friendly operation. The 50-bed hospital, which will feature all private rooms, will be designed with expansion in mind to meet the area’s needs, she said.


Dean serves 20,000 Janesville-area residents who participate in the Dean Health Plan. Dean recently took a hit in Janesville when General Motors made changes in its health care coverage, sending many former Dean patients to Mercy.


“We hate to disrupt the relations our doctors had with GM employees, but there are 50,000 other people in this area aside from GM,” Samitt said.


Health care is built on a system of changing relationships, he said, and GM workers could return to the Dean fold in the future.


“The situation with GM does not disrupt the plan that’s been in the works for several years,” he said.


Riverview employees learned of what was one of the community’s best-kept secrets this morning.


John Beckord, president of Forward Janesville, a private economic development agency, called the news exciting and contrary to recent dire economic news.


“The job creation, the construction jobs—all of this is terrific news,” he said. “It’s certainly a vote of confidence in the local economy, another sign that many segments of our local economy are strong.


“There is obviously a tendency to listen to CNN and read the AP releases and assume that our local regional economy mirrors the troubles in play in certainly some select major urban areas. It’s just not true.”


Beckord said the health complex will offer competition and additional health choices to community members.


“The health-care sector has seen a steady growth in employment,” he said. “This is a real shot in the arm for that employment base.”


The solid, good-paying jobs will dovetail nicely with the health-care education programs already in place, Beckord said.


“I would expect to see an increase in interest in those programs from area residents who might be contemplating a career move,” he said.


JUST THE FACTS

Some facts and figures about the new hospital complex proposed for Janesville:


What: A $140-million hospital campus on 50 acres at the southeast corner of Interstate 90/39 and Highway 11 to open in 2010. The project does not include state or federal money.


Size: The campus will include a 50-bed hospital, about 150,000 to 175,00 square feet. It will include a medical office building of about 120,000 square feet. The site has space for planned future growth of both the hospital and physician’s office complex.


Who: SSM Health Care of Wisconsin & Dean Health System. SSMHC/WI will build the hospital and Dean, its physician partner, will build the clinic as part of the physician office complex adjacent to the hospital. SSM Health Care of Wisconsin is the parent company of St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison and St. Clare in Baraboo.


Jobs: 344 direct jobs, plus 155 indirect jobs.


Economic impact: $164 million annually, including about $40 million in payroll and $124 million in sales revenue.


Why: The location allows easy access to services for Janesville residents and those in surrounding communities.


Available services: In addition to the existing clinical services already provided, the new hospital will offer such inpatient services as cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, oncology, pulmonology, neurology, obstetrics and vascular medicine and surgery. It will offer an emergency department, urgent care, radiology, a laboratory, cardiac rehabilitation and sleep lab.



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