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St. Elizabeth’s Hospital to present plan to board on Jan. 27

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital plans to present its request to build a new hospital in O’Fallon at the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board’s Jan. 27 meeting in Bolingbrook.

Board administrator Courtney Avery confirmed Monday that the hospital will present its request at next month’s meeting, “unless there’s any unforeseen circumstances.”

Hospital leaders had been on the agenda for the state board’s Dec. 16 meeting, but decided to defer to the next meeting after learning only five of the current eight state board members were going to be present. For the hospital’s certificate of need to be approved, at least five board members must agree to the hospital’s proposal to close the Belleville hospital and rebuild a smaller, state-of-the-art hospital off Interstate 64 on North Green Mount Road.

Due to the hospital’s deferment, the public commenting period about the project has reopened. People wishing to write in support or opposition to the project can do so online or by standard mail.

St. Elizabeth’s is asking the state board for approval to close its 303-bed hospital in downtown Belleville and open a replacement 144-bed hospital off Interstate 64 on North Green Mount Road. The cost of the project is $253 million. St. Elizabeth’s also plans to build an ambulatory care center adjacent to the new hospital, making the total cost of the project about $300 million.

St. Elizabeth’s has budgeted money to raze the current hospital, if no new tenant can be found. Hospital leaders said, to address changing medical needs, an outpatient medical campus would remain in downtown Belleville, including an urgent care center, doctor offices, labs and therapy services.

Since St. Elizabeth’s announced its plans in June, hundreds of people have spoken at two public hearings and written letters in support of and in opposition to the project.

Written comments can be mailed directly to Mike Constantino or Courtney Avery at the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, 525 West Jefferson Street (Second Floor), Springfield, Ill., 62761.

All letters: must be on standard 8.5-by-11-inch sheets of paper; include the appropriate project number as assigned by the state board (Project #14-043 for St. Elizabeth's Hospital, O’Fallon, and Project #14-044 for St. Elizabeth’s Hospital-Ambulatory Care Center, O’Fallon); must include full name, street address, city, state, zip code, telephone number and email address, if applicable; and must be signed.

Electronic letters may be submitted only through St. Elizabeth’s online format: http://www.supportsteliz.org.

All letters submitted will be posted on the state website, http://www.hfsrb.illinois.gov/CompApps.htm.

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