With keys now in hand, it’s go-time for staff at Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh. The construction team of Holland Construction and Pepper Construction handed a large ceremonial key over to Ruth Holmes, hospital administrator, during a ceremony Wednesday morning.
“Today we are taking over a building, but in a few short months we are going to give you a new hospital,” Holmes told the large crowd gathered inside the lobby of the new 94-bed hospital located at 1404 Cross St. in Shiloh.
Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier said, “It’s been exciting watching the hospital grow from a farm field to what it is today — a completed building.”
Mark Turner, CEO of Memorial Hospital, said Memorial Hospital East has been in the works since 2007 when the parent group of Memorial Hospital participated in a long-range planning exercise with outside consultants.
“We recognized a need for two things: a need to move toward all private beds and a need for more services and offerings in the Shiloh/O’Fallon community,” he said.
In 2008, Memorial Group, Inc. and Metro-East Services, Inc. acquired the 94 acres of land at Frank Scott Parkway and Cross Street. Turner said the hospital could not take occupancy of all seven parcels of land until 2010. In April 2011, Memorial filed a certificate of need with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board and that application was unanimously approved by the board in June 2011.
Construction of Memorial Hospital East began in January 2014.
“It’s a very exciting day,” Turner said. “We are excited to expand our services and the offering of services to this community and to further our mission of providing exceptional healthcare and compassion service to yet another facility, another location.”
Turner also touted Memorial’s new strategic affiliation with St. Louis-based BJC Healthcare, which becomes official Jan. 1. The affiliation, he said, allows the hospitals to expand their offerings and services to the community in a “more efficient manner going forward.”
Turner said there is still work to do at Memorial Hospital East. “There are still a few more days in front of us before we open for our first patient,” he said.
Today we are taking over a building, but in a few short months we are going to give you a new hospital.
Ruth Holmes, administrator at Memorial Hospital East
Bruce Holland said, “this is the largest construction project that our company (Holland Construction) has ever taken on. We are very pleased to be a joint-venture partner with Pepper Construction. We are very proud of this quality project that we think is going to be a real tribute to the community,” he said.
Holmes said the next step is for equipment and furniture to move into the new hospital in preparation to accept its first patients on April 12. Staff training and orientation will also be a priority over the next several months, she said.
Want to know more about Memorial Hospital East? Visit www.memhospeast.com.
A formal dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony is April 10 at Memorial Hospital East, according to hospital officials.
Attendees at Wednesday’s ceremony were not able to tour the new five-story hospital. “When the time is right, we will be able to take you through the whole facility,” Turner told the crowd. “It is just fantastic; it’s gorgeous.”
Keith Cook, chairman of the Memorial Hospital East board, said the new hospital will have a “profound impact” on Shiloh and the surrounding communities. “You just don’t build a new hospital everyday,” he said. “It’s really something incredibly special.”
By the numbers: Memorial Hospital East
- 94-bed facility
- $124 million hospital
- 673 employees