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State board report: St. E’s application meets most of criteria

A report issued by the state board shows that St. Elizabeth’s Hospital’s application for a replacement hospital meets 30 of the 38 criteria issued for that project.

The 63-page report released Tuesday by the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board said St. Elizabeth’s plans to build a replacement hospital in O’Fallon don’t meet several criteria including: planning area need, unnecessary duplication of service and impact on area providers.

However, Brian Reardon, director of communications and public relations at St. Elizabeth’s parent company, Hospital Sisters Health System, said he was glad the board found that the project did meet what he considered three crucial criteria: the replacement hospital is needed, a replacement hospital is necessary to continue service and the project is financially sound.

Courtney Avery, administrator of the state board, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Patty Gregory, an organizer of the Oppose the Move: Save St. E’s Belleville grassroots group, also could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The report said St. Elizabeth’s application did not meet the criteria for unnecessary duplication of service. One such notation explained: “There are eight facilities within 30 minutes of the proposed site. One hospital is operating at target occupancy for medical surgical beds (Memorial Hospital-Belleville), two hospitals for obstetric beds (Anderson Hospital and Memorial Hospital-Belleville) and one for intensive care beds (Memorial Hospital-Belleville). It appears a duplication of service may result with the establishment of this service.”

Here’s the eight criteria the state board said the application does not meet:

The report informs both the members of the board and St. Elizabeth’s about what areas of the application meet the board’s guidelines. The applicant can respond to the report.

An application does not need to meet all the criteria listed for the board to approve the project.

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is asking the state board for a certificate of need to allow it to close its 303-bed hospital in downtown Belleville and open a replacement hospital with 144 beds off Interstate 64 on North Greenmount Road. The cost of the project is $253 million.

St. Elizabeth’s also plans to build an ambulatory care center adjacent to the proposed hospital, making the total cost of the project about $300 million.

Hospital leaders have said the nearly 60-year-old Belleville hospital building is outdated and functionally obsolete.

While the hospital building would be razed, a medical campus would remain in downtown, including an urgent care center, other medical services and business offices.

The state board is scheduled to hear St. Elizabeth’s proposal at its Dec. 16 meeting in Bolingbrook.

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