We have answers.
Thanks for taking a moment to review the most frequently asked questions and answers about HSHS St. Elizabeth's replacement hospital project. As a valued community member, we want you to be informed and understand our current health care challenges as well as our plans to meet the health care needs, of our Metro East region, for generations to come.
The most frequently asked questions and answers are listed below. After reviewing, if you still have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
. As you will see, this replacement hospital project is important to ensuring all Metro East residents will have access to region leading, high-quality health care in the future. Thanks again for your interest in St. Elizabeth's replacement hospital project!
Download our Replacement Hospital Project Fact Sheet
Most Frequently Asked Questions
What is St. Elizabeth’s planning to do?
There are three pivotal things St. Elizabeth’s is planning that will shape the future of health care for the Metro East region for generations to come.
Why has this taken so long? I feel like you’ve been talking about this for years?
- We are planning to build a replacement hospital along Interstate 64 and Green Mount Road in St. Clair County.
- We are renewing our commitment to Belleville by re-envisioning the Belleville campus to meet the needs of the community.
- We are planning to build an ambulatory care center with physician’s office building on the new campus to help attract more physicians and specialists, allow easy access for those physicians using hospital services and offer an ambulatory care center for certain hospital based services.
St. Elizabeth’s and HSHS leaders took the time they needed to develop a comprehensive plan to continue our ministry for generations to come. The plan included several different possible alternatives. As we plan for the future, we recognize we must be good stewards of limited health care resources. We are eager to move forward with our plans now to improve access to high-quality health care for Metro East residents.
What does a “replacement hospital” mean?
It means that we will be replacing the current St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. Many of the services patients use regularly in Belleville will remain in Belleville, such as the same-day ambulatory clinic and laboratory and radiology services. Some services will move to the new location, such as emergency care, labor and delivery, and award-winning heart care.
Why do you have to move?
A retrofit of our old buildings at our current location – on our small, landlocked campus – would be cost-prohibitive. The existing 60-year-old structure is outdated, which is making it more and more difficult to meet 21st century health care needs. And, it is extremely costly to maintain. Additionally, St. Elizabeth’s is not easily accessible by main highways or roads, there’s no room to expand on our 17-acre site, and patients prefer private rooms. The new, state-of-the-art replacement hospital will help improve access to high-quality health care to residents of the entire Metro East region.
Why did you choose the site off I-64 and Green Mount Road?
St. Elizabeth’s Hospital’s leaders knew as they looked at possible locations that they wanted a site that would be more accessible to a greater number of patients. Our location along I-64 is actually more accessible to more people who are underserved in the Metro East region. In fact, the drive time to our new location will decrease for two-thirds of residents from low-income neighborhoods in the region.
What do you mean by a regional hospital?
Health care is changing dramatically. Our patients deserve a medical campus that is designed to meet their needs and that features the newest technology. Our regional referral hospital will:
Isn’t St. Elizabeth’s already a regional hospital that accepts referral patients from other community hospitals?
- Attract new physicians and specialists,
- Continue to be a teaching hospital,
- Enhance opportunities to collaborate with other health care organizations along the 1-64 corridor,
- Feature telehealth, specifically telestroke consultations,
- Provide modern birthing suites and emergency pediatric care, and
- Offer hospitalists, who specialize in the care of hospital patients, and intensivists, who focus solely on ICU patients.
We strive to offer region-leading, high-value health care. And, we will be better positioned to do so at a technologically advanced replacement hospital that is located at Green Mount Road and Regency Parkway, just off I-64. This location will allow us to reach even more people in underserved areas.
Would building a new facility help to recruit new physicians to the area?
Yes, having a new hospital with advanced technology would help St. Elizabeth’s continue to attract top doctors and specialists from around the country. That is good for everyone in the Metro East area.
When you talk about a centralized hospital, will it also support more patients from Scott Air Force Base (Scott AFB)?
Yes. We are a preferred provider for Scott Air Force Base. We support the family practice medical residency program at Scott Air Force Base with about $1 million each year, and work in partnership on the program with Saint Louis University and Southern Illinois Healthcare. Of the Illinois hospitals in our market, St. Elizabeth’s proudly serves 64 percent of the overall inpatient admissions and deliveries from Tricare, the health care program serving uniformed service members, retirees and their families, recipients based on 2013 data.
What is a Certificate of Need (CON)?
When hospitals and health care systems in Illinois want to build a replacement hospital, add certain services – such as open heart surgery – or expand facilities, then they have to submit a Certificate of Need (CON) application to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board. The CON helps the Review Board members understand why the project is needed. St. Elizabeth's Hospital recieved approval of our Certificate of Need application on April 21, 2015 in Bolingbrook, Illinois. There were eight Review Board members present at the meeting and the vote was a unanimous approval of eight to zero votes.
How are you funding this project? Will you be using property tax money or public funds?
We will not be using property tax money or public funds. We have the benefit of being part of a larger system – Hospital Sisters Health System – that is financially stable. The HSHS AA bond rating from Standard & Poor’s shows our strong financial health.
Will the new hospital be bigger than your current facility? If so, how big will it be?
The replacement hospital will be about 350,000 square feet on 114 acres of land, compared to the almost 1,000,000 square feet of the current facility that sits on 17 acres in Belleville. The replacement hospital will have 144 private patient beds, which is fewer than St. Elizabeth’s has now. Fewer beds are needed because more patients are receiving outpatient care and private rooms help decrease the spread of infections. Also, the outpatient center at the new hospital will be sized to accommodate the predicted growth in outpatient care in the future.
Why will the new hospital be so much smaller with only 144 beds?
Health care is changing dramatically. The demands for outpatient services are increasing as the health care industry focuses on preventive medicine. The need for inpatient services is decreasing because more surgeries are now performed in outpatient care centers. The replacement hospital will be designed to care for today’s patients, with the ability to adapt to meet patients’ future health care needs.
What will happen to St. Elizabeth’s O’Fallon Health Center and the O’Fallon Medical Building?
The O’Fallon Health Center will remain an outpatient center with the addition of wound care. We will close the UrgiCare center because of how close the new Emergency Room will be to the health center.
What will remain at the Belleville campus?
Our plans for the Belleville campus of St. Elizabeth’s are to re-envision it to become the St. Elizabeth’s Health Center-Belleville. It will offer:
- A same-day ambulatory clinic,
- Physical, occupational and Back to Work therapy,
- Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation clinic (SIHF)
- Radiology and laboratory services, and
- Primary care physicians’ and health care specialists’ offices.
Many jobs also will stay in Belleville. They include:
Will all the buildings remain? If not, what will you do with them?
- Southern Illinois Division central business offices,
- Marketing and communications,
- Staff education,
- Information technology, and Purchasing.
We will maintain some of the campus buildings to provide outpatient care on the campus. Services will include a same-day ambulatory clinic, physician offices and lab and imaging services. We also will work with our neighbors and the City of Belleville to determine how best to re-envision the remaining parts of the campus.
What happens to all the beautiful things in your current hospital?
We have many beautiful and historic pieces throughout our hospital. We will inventory everything and then the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis will choose a fitting location for our historic pieces. Some will go to the replacement hospital; others may go to other Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) hospitals or even to the Mother House in Germany. No matter where our historic pieces go they will be in good hands with the sisters.
Will this move change how St. Elizabeth’s works with other agencies and partners?
St. Elizabeth’s will continue to work with our current partners and local agencies. Our plans will help foster collaborations with other health care providers in the region. Our new location also will move St. Elizabeth’s closer to the community hospitals that refer us patients, such as HSHS affiliate hospitals St. Joseph’s in Highland and St. Joseph’s in Breese, as well as Scott Air Force Base, Greenville Regional Hospital and Washington County Hospital.
How connected is St. Elizabeth's Teaching Hospital?
St. Elizabeth’s is well connected with its residency program partners, which include Scott Air Force Base, Saint Louis University, Southern Illinois University, Illinois State University, Southwestern Illinois College, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Maryville University, Lindenwood University, Kaskaskia College, Brown Mackie College and many others. We look forward to continuing all our teaching affiliations at St. Elizabeth’s replacement hospital.
How does this impact your mission?
We actually are expanding our mission to more people. For nearly 140 years, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital has been committed to caring for residents in the Metro East region. That mission is as strong as ever. Our new full-service replacement hospital, only seven miles from our existing location, will help us continue that mission and allow us to reach even more people in underserved areas. Our location is closer to a greater number of patients and is actually more accessible to more people who are underserved in the Metro East region.
What does this mean for residents of Belleville? For the city?
St. Elizabeth’s plans ensure that Metro East residents will continue to have high-quality medical care close by. By replacing its hospital and re-envisioning its current site, St. Elizabeth’s will:
- Continue to attract top doctors from around the country;
- Increase the region’s access to health care; and
- Offer large, private rooms with space for families to visit.
And, having a large regional health care facility in the area creates jobs, brings economic development and keeps a community strong.
How will this change impact colleagues who work at St. Elizabeth's Hospital?
The average commute time for our colleagues will increase by only two minutes. Many colleagues will actually have shorter drive times from their homes. They will continue to pay property taxes and spend money in the same towns where they currently reside.
How have the hospital’s employees responded?
The response from our employees has been positive. They are eager for our community to get the new hospital. And, many who work on our Belleville campus now know firsthand why it is vitally important for St. Elizabeth’s to offer services to its patients in a modern facility.
What will the project cost?
The cost for the project will be approximately $300 million.
Are the prices for your health care services going to go up because of the cost of building this new hospital?
We have the benefit of being part of the larger HSHS system, which is financially stable. The financial strength of HSHS will help finance this project. Our hospital is constantly looking for ways to make care more affordable by better coordinating care, and providing the right care at the right time in the right setting. The new replacement hospital will do all of that and more.
Isn’t Belleville Memorial building a hospital just a mile away from your O’Fallon site? Is it really a good use of money to build another hospital so close to a new one?
Belleville Memorial is building a satellite facility. St. Elizabeth’s facility will be a full replacement hospital. This means that St. Elizabeth’s will provide inpatient care, open heart surgery, neurosurgery as well as outpatient services and a Medical Office Building. Memorials main hospital will remain in Belleville. Memorials satellite facility will not provide all of these services. Memorial’s satellite facility and St. Elizabeth’s replacement hospital are very different projects.
Additionally, we believe it makes perfect sense to locate in O’Fallon because currently there are two full service hospitals in Belleville, offering services such as open heart surgery and stroke care. When the replacement hospital is built it will eliminate duplication of services in the same community, and instead provide for a full service hospital directly off I-64, one in Belleville, an outpatient care center in Belleville and a satellite facility in Shiloh that addresses patients with lesser acuity. The services are also streaming to the west of the Metro East region, which is where there is a higher concentration of individuals living at or below the poverty level.
Do we really need two major hospitals?
St. Elizabeth’s has been serving the Metro East area for nearly 140 years. The two hospitals in Belleville have co-existed since 1958 when Memorial Hospital opened. We have partnered with Belleville Memorial to bring open heart surgery to the area, and advanced cancer care services to our community. We will continue to look for ways to collaborate as we plan to build a regional medical center to serve the Metro East region.
What will be the economic impact of this project to the region?
This project could result in hundreds of jobs. We’ll be looking further into the economic impact. However, for every $1 spent on this project, approximately $3 goes into the economy, which means this project could have about a $1 billion effect on the Metro East economy.
What happens next?
The project already has been approved by the St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Board of Directors, the HSHS Board of Directors, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis and the Illinois Health Facilites and Services Review Board. Construction on the $300 million project has begun and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. We also look forward to re-purposing our current campus to continue providing health care services in downtown Belleville.