| ROCKFORD, Aug. 13 — MercyRockford Health System announced plans to create one hospital on two campuses in Rockford, enhancing access and health care services for the Rockford community and the greater northern Illinois/southern Wisconsin region.
The new MercyRockford Health System, formed by the merger of Mercy Health System and Rockford Health System in January 2015, plans to continue operating a vibrant and robust hospital campus on its current North Rockton Avenue site. Additionally, MercyRockford plans to construct a second campus on 263 acres at the intersection of East Riverside Boulevard and Interstate 90.
“MercyRockford Health System is embarking on the most exciting and impactful health care development in the 130 years since our two original hospitals were founded,” said Javon R. Bea, MercyRockford Health System President and CEO. “This is the largest project ever in Rockford’s history and represents a leap forward in quality facilities, community economic growth and easy access from a large regional area. We are expanding existing services and keeping patients close to home, creating jobs, and bringing strong economic growth to the greater Rockford region.”
North Rockton Avenue Campus
The North Rockton Avenue campus has quality facilities for a variety of services and we will continue to provide a wide range of adult outpatient and inpatient care, concentrating services into facilities that have been recently renovated. For example, a $7 million state-of-the-art linear accelerator addition was opened at the Rockford Health System Cancer Center earlier this year and will continue to provide cancer care into the future. Similarly, recently renovated nursing units will continue to operate.
Other facilities on the N. Rockton Avenue campus will be repurposed for other services, including community partnerships. “We plan to make the former 200,000 square foot Rockford Clinic building on campus available to organizations that serve the community,” said Bea. “This is another way we will transform the campus while strengthening partnership and creating job opportunities in the neighborhood.”
“There has been significant investment in the North Rockton Avenue campus in recent years and we will continue to invest no less than $8 million per year in the future,” said Bea. Plans call for the N. Rockton Avenue campus to offer the following:
East Riverside Boulevard Campus
MercyRockford plans to centralize intensive care services and construct a destination campus on I-90 at East Riverside Boulevard, a convenient location for patients from within the greater Rockford area and for those traveling from a large regional area, resulting in significant patient care and economic value for Rockford.
In addition to serving patients from the Rockford area, Rockford Memorial Hospital is a state-designated referral center and receives patients from a 15-county region for high risk maternity, neonatal intensive care, pediatrics and pediatric critical care, adult critical care, and trauma. With its location on I-90 at the Riverside exit, the new campus will enhance regional access to these critical tertiary level services.
The East Riverside Boulevard destination medical center campus will have 188 inpatient beds, expanded patient services and will incorporate state-of-the-art technology designed to the standards of today and the future. Other services include:
As part of this plan, MercyRockford will eliminate 109 state-licensed hospital beds.
The estimated cost of the plan to develop the two campuses for the future is about $400 million. “Our plans will provide tremendous economic development for the Rockford area,” said Bea. “This plan represents the best of all worlds, including a continued commitment to the existing campus and surrounding neighborhood, as well as investment in a second campus that will generate significant economic activity relating to employment, construction jobs, income, and retail sales in the community. The result will be increased patient volume from a wide regional geography because it will be much easier for patients to travel to a facility located just off I-90. Not only will we keep comprehensive health care services close to home, but we will increase patient volume. A wider array of services also provides jobs for physicians, caregivers and support staff. There is a lot to be excited about.”
As required by the State of Illinois, MercyRockford Health System is applying to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board for Certificate of Need approval for the plans. MercyRockford anticipates that review by the board will be completed in November of this year and that construction will begin in late 2016.
MercyRockford Health System is a not-for-profit, multi-regional health system comprising five hospitals, more than 867 physicians, with 80 outpatient clinics and other service sites that provide care to residents in more 60 communities in 15 northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin counties. Additionally, patients are transferred to Rockford Memorial’s adult, perinatal and