Health care leaders there share OSF integration experience; board members say they are pleased
MENDOTA — Princeton Mayor Joel Quiram, Annette Schnabel, Perry Memorial Hospital CEO/president, and Perry board members traveled to OSF HealthCare Saint Paul Medical Center in Mendota on Dec. 10 to visit with leadership and board members who oversaw the transition of Mendota Community Hospital to full affiliation with OSF HealthCare.
“The visit provided an understanding of the impact of OSF full affiliation at the community, employee, and service levels,” Schnabel said.
In rural areas, the average person may drive more than 30 minutes to reach the nearest health care facility, and that travel time can make the difference between life and death.
In Princeton and the surrounding areas, the community has benefited from having a strong, progressive hospital for the past 100 years, ready to meet the needs of anyone walking through its doors.
Perry Memorial Hospital’s leadership is now considering strategies to ensure the community’s health care needs can continue to be met far into the future.
In Mendota, a city of similar size to Princeton, the original Mendota Community Hospital, built in 1951, needed $24 million of improvements to bring the hospital up to current regulations.
Also, its location at 1315 Memorial Drive was landlocked, which prevented future expansion.
On Dec. 7, 2011, the doors opened to a new $30 million state-of-the-art facility at 1401 E. 12th St. in Mendota. Mendota leaders concluded the decision to invest in a new building was the best alternative for the future of their community’s health care.
However, the hospital continued to be challenged with a revenue and cost differential and the cash on hand was used to operate the hospital. At that point, hospital leadership began to consider other options.
Mendota Community Hospital, like Perry, was an OSF affiliate. After interviewing multiple health systems, OSF was selected as the best potential partner for future community health due to the established relationship and the expertise and vision of OSF.
Once the decision was made, the process to complete the full affiliation took approximately 14 months, Princeton officials were told.
Growth at OSF Saint Paul has taken place since full affiliation occurred in April 2015.
Mendota Community Hospital originally offered four primary care physicians, one Advanced Practice Provider (APP), one general surgeon, one orthopedic and one part-time gynecologist. All remained except full-time orthopedics due to population and demographic needs, so it was transitioned to a part-time service.
Today, OSF Saint Paul boasts of the presence of five primary care physicians, five APPs, one general surgeon, one part-time gynecologist and one part-time orthopedic surgeon.
With the resource of the OSF ministry, TeleHealth and shared services have grown with the addition of TeleNeurology, TeleEpilepsy, TeleSleep, and EICU.
The full affiliation allows OSF Saint Paul to anticipate and adjust to meet the needs of all patients, even when there is an influx of inpatient stays beyond the normal daily census of the hospital.
Their structure includes keeping patients at home where they receive local care, and it reduces the need to be transferred to another hospital far away from home.
Mendota’s board members in attendance said they are pleased with the outcome of the decision and the integration with OSF. This relationship kept health care services for their community in their community.
Understanding the outcomes in Mendota will help inform the ongoing discussions between Perry and OSF. City and Perry leadership are committed to finding a long-term solution that ensures Princeton and the surrounding communities have access to quality health care for another 100 years. They will continue to evaluate if and how a partnership with OSF could be the best long-term solution.
About Perry Memorial Hospital:
Perry Memorial Hospital is a municipally-owned hospital located in Bureau County that dates back to 1903. The 25-bed critical access facility is one of Bureau County’s largest employers with a workforce of more than 370 people.
About OSF HealthCare:
OSF HealthCare is an integrated health system owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, headquartered in Peoria. OSF HealthCare employs nearly 21,000 Mission Partners (employees) in 126 locations, including 13 hospitals — nine acute care, four critical access — and two colleges of nursing.
Its physician network employs more than 1,200 primary care, specialist physicians, and advanced practice providers.