Janesville63.8°

New hospital to carry St. Mary's name

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JAMES P. LEUTE
October 1, 2008
— The "new Janesville hospital" now has an official name: St. Mary's Janesville Hospital.

And hometown workers will help build it.


Dean Health System and SSM Health Care of Wisconsin said today that The Erdman Co., a health care design-build company headquartered in Madison, will be the general contractor for the $140 million hospital and medical campus on Janesville's southeast side.


Erdman will partner with the Boston-based Shepley Bulfinch and Janesville-based J.P. Cullen & Sons on the project.


The 116-year-old Cullen company will build the project's superstructure, meaning it likely will handle all the concrete and structural framing, as well as the exterior of the hospital and clinic. It has more than 450 employees, including 200 who live in Rock County.


"It will allow us to be able to put a lot of our home people to work," said David Cullen, Cullen's president and chief executive officer. "We have a good amount of work in Dane and Rock counties, but major jobs like this don't come along all that often.


"You're lucky to get a couple of these in a career."


Mary Starmann-Harrison, SSM's regional president, said SSM always tries to use local services and contractors.


"But it just can't be a local decision," she said. "It has to be right in terms of pricing and quality because, as a not-for-profit, we have a fiduciary responsibility.


"Cullen is a very important part of what will be a wonderful team."


Construction is expected to start in the next two months, and the 50-bed hospital and adjacent physician office complex should open in 2010.


The hospital will be part of SSM Health Care of Wisconsin, the parent company of St. Mary's Hospital in Madison and St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo. It will include all private rooms, electronic health records and a state-of-the-art emergency department, official said.


Dean Health System will develop the new physician office complex, which will offer services comparable to those already provided at Dean's Riverview Clinic. Eventually, most of Dean's physicians, staff and services will move from Riverview to the new facility.


Procedures now performed at the Riverview Surgery Center, jointly owned by Dean and SSM, will move to the new hospital at the intersection of Interstate 90/39 at Highway 11. Dean bought the 50-acre site in 2000.


The new hospital and physician office is expected to employ 344, with the possibility of an additional 155 indirect jobs. Dean currently has about 50 doctors and 200 employees at its Riverview and Northview clinics in Janesville.


A new hospital CEO, who will live in Janesville, is expected to be on board by the end of the year.


Dean and SSM officials have said Janesville residents want more health care options. Studies, they've said, 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.


Dean currently serves more than 50,000 people in the Janesville area, including 20,000 members of Dean Health Plan.


Mercy Health System operates a 275-bed hospital in Janesville and earlier this year started construction of a $10 million trauma center and office complex on its Janesville campus. A new parking ramp will serve Mercy's new cardiology care and imaging suite.


Citing increased competition in the Janesville market and a slowing economy, Mercy has been cutting some services, but it plans to make all of its hospital rooms private and recently expanded neurosurgery and cardiac care services to support its new trauma surgeons.


Shortly after Dean and SSM official announced plans for their new medical campus, General Motors said it will cease operations at its Janesville plant, a move that is expected to put thousands of workers at GM and supplier companies out of work.


Dean and SSM officials, however, have been steadfast in their commitment to their Janesville project, which is expected to contribute $164 million to the community each year through payroll and sales revenue.


"It's going to be huge, as we all know what's happened in the local economy with the announcements by Gilman and General Motors," Cullen said. "We don't know how ancillary companies will be affected.


"It's wonderful that the St. Mary's and Dean people have taken a good look at this market and determined it can support another hospital. That's a huge commitment."


TO LEARN MORE

The community is invited to learn more about the new hospital and physician office complex at a project update session from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. today at HHFFRRRGGH, 731 S. Wuthering Hills Dr., Janesville.


For more information, visit www.stmarysjanesville.com.



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