While the demolition of the former St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is ongoing in downtown Belleville, St. Elizabeth’s has continued to retool its Belleville campus and the latest renovation includes a new imaging center that offers X-ray services and 3D screening mammograms.
St. Elizabeth’s Hospital left downtown Belleville for a new hospital in O’Fallon in November but the hospital said it would maintain an array of services in Belleville as part of a $12 million investment in renovations and equipment purchases.
The imaging center recently opened in Suite 101 of St. Elizabeth’s medical building at 180 S. Third St.
And on Monday, a lab draw station is scheduled to open in the building for people who need a blood test.
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Services that previously had been operating in downtown Belleville include St. Elizabeth’s physical therapy clinic, the SIHF Healthcare primary care clinic and the SIHF Healthcare walk-in clinic in the building at 180 S. Third St.
Marilyn Jung, a radiology technologist with St. Elizabeth’s, said the images taken in Belleville are reviewed by the same doctors who review images taken at the new hospital.
And Joe Gain, manager of the imaging clinic, noted the new equipment in the downtown Belleville clinic is the same technology used in the O’Fallon hospital.
“We want to offer them the same great service and technology that we offer at our O’Fallon hospital,” Gain said.
The X-ray machine is a Quantum Carestream Digital Radiographic unit, which has an adjustable table that can accommodate patients from children to adults and patients who use wheelchairs. The technology reduces radiation by about 40 percent and “drastically improves image quality to allow the physicians to see changes to the patient body,” according to a St. Elizabeth’s news release.
The 3D Hologic Mammography unit allows radiologists to exam breast tissue layer by layer. “It also allows for fewer unnecessary callbacks which can reduce patient anxieties and reduces the potential for unnecessary biopsies,” according to the news release.
St. Elizabeth’s noted that a 2016 Illinois law requires insurance companies to cover 3D mammography, which the hospital first began using in Belleville in 2015.
The imaging center is open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Thursday. For more information, call 618-222-4639. Several insurance carriers are accepted at the clinic and St. Elizabeth’s is in the process of enrolling additional insurance carriers.
The lab draw station will be open from 7 a.m. to noon Monday to Thursday. St. Elizabeth’s said it hopes to offer expanded hours in the future.
St. Elizabeth’s Hospital was unable to find a buyer for the former hospital and St. Elizabeth’s leaders decided to tear down the hospital buildings off South Third Street.
The ongoing demolition is going as planned and is expected to be completed by mid-2019, St. Elizabeth’s spokeswoman Kelly Barbeau said.
St. Elizabeth’s is paying Ahrens Contracting Inc. to oversee the demolition.
After the buildings have been cleared, St. Elizabeth’s expects to have 14 acres to sell through listing agent Balke Brown Transwestern.
All of the religious artifacts have been removed from the interior of the buildings. However, a large, metal cross remains on top of the roof of the main building.
Barbeau said the cross will be removed before demolition of the main building begins in the fall.
The cross will be taken to the Springfield headquarters of the Hospital Sisters Health System, which operates St. Elizabeth’s and 14 other hospitals. The group then expects to give the cross to another ministry or church, as the hospital did with other religious artifacts that were not incorporated into the new O’Fallon hospital at the intersection of Interstate 64 and Green Mount Road.
Here is the latest timeline on the demolition:
▪ Current work includes removing the front canopy of the Prairie Heart Institute building at 340 W. Lincoln St. and ongoing cleaning and abatement within several floors of the hospital proper and attached office building.
▪ Demolition of the surgical suites (over previous the emergency department) and Prairie Heart Institute continuing through this spring.
▪ The skywalk across Lincoln Street will removed in the fall.
▪ External work on the main hospital expected to start in November through completion in 2019.
As part of a state health board’s approval of the new St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, the board required St. Elizabeth’s to keep about 200 employees in Belleville for at least two years.
Barbeau said St. Elizabeth’s now has about 250 employees in Belleville.
St. Elizabeth’s said other health services on the Belleville campus include:
▪ St. Elizabeth’s Physical Therapy Services at 180 S. Third St., Suite 30, has remained open during the renovations. Therapies included work conditioning, oncology wellness and Parkinson’s treatment. For information, call 618-234-9152.
▪ Two SIHF Healthcare clinics at 180 S. Third St.: a primary care office by appointment in Suite 104 and the SIHF Healthcare Convenient Care Clinic for walk-ins in Suite 103.
▪ The Pregnancy Care Center is currently located at 301 W. Lincoln St., Suite 105. The center will be moved to the building at 180 S. Third St. The Pregnancy Care Center is supported by St. Elizabeth’s through donated building space, furniture, supplies and collection events. It serves new and expectant mothers by providing free services including pregnancy tests, referrals for medical care, WIC and other resource information.
The campus also has other private physician groups including:
▪ Heartland Women's Healthcare (formerly Grace Women's Healthcare), 180 S. Third St., Suite 200
▪ Dr. Mark Feldman, gastroenterologist, 311 W. Lincoln St., Suite 100
▪ Belleville Family Medical Associates, 311 W. Lincoln St., Suite 300
▪ Metro East Gastroenterology Ltd. (Dr. Aaron Greenspan), 311 W. Lincoln St., Suite 201