Metro-East News

Memorial Hospital East opens in Shiloh

Memorial Hospital East is officially open in Shiloh.

Starting before dawn Tuesday morning, patients were accepted for the first time in the brand new, 94-bed facility located at 1404 Cross St. The 207,212-square-foot hospital cost $124 million to build. Back in October, officials there planned for an April 12 opening — right on target.

“We have been preparing for the opening of Memorial Hospital East since 2011, when we filed a Certificate of Need with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board,” hospital administrator Ruth Holmes said in a statement Tuesday.

The first patient admitted to the hospital Tuesday was for a scheduled cesarean section. The first baby was born at the hospital at 9:05 a.m.

As of about 1 p.m. Tuesday, staff at Memorial Hospital East had treated more than 20 patients between the Emergency Department, outpatient surgery and diagnostic procedures.

Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier called Tuesday “a great day for Shiloh.”

“To have the new hospital is so beneficial for our residents, especially with cutting the travel time to get to a hospital. With the maternity rooms, there are going to be hundreds of babies born in our community,” Vernier said. “Then there’s the affiliation with BJC HealthCare and the Doctors Network. It’s a huge positive.”

Vernier added that Memorial East’s opening signaled added economic benefit to the convenience of a local hospital.

“For too long our area spent hundreds of millions of dollars on medical care in Missouri,” Vernier said. “I hope that we’re able to get some of the medical dollars to stay in Illinois. I believe the best is yet to come. It’s awesome; it’s a great day.”

Things seemed busy on day one, Vernier said. “I drove by there this morning. There were already a lot of cars in the parking lot.”

Another brand new hospital will open just a mile and a half from Memorial East in 2017: The building that will replace St. Elizabeth’s Hospital’s aging downtown Belleville facility is under construction along Green Mount Road North of I-64 in O’Fallon.

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After a two-year wait, Cheapies Tires opened its fourth metro-east location at West Main and 38th streets in Belleville.

Manager Brian Colley said the shop opened Friday. Currently, tire sales, repairs and installation is performed at the Belleville location. Brakes work and oil changes are done at Cheapies’ other locales — two are in Alton and one is in Granite City — and Colley said the Belleville shop may also offer those services eventually. But it’s just tires for now.

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Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but a Barclays study suggests that the construction of really tall buildings coincides with economic downturns.

If it’s true, there may be a problem: Plans are in motion to build a $1 billion tower in Dubai. Specifics on just how tall it’ll be are scarce, but the plan is to make it the tallest in the world. In Iraq, the yet-unbuilt “Bride” is planned to reach 3,780 feet. The unbuilt Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia is designed to reach 3,280.

The current tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa — also in Dubai — standing 2,717 feet. For context, the Willis Tower in Chicago rises just 1,450 feet, or 1,729 feet if you count its iconic dual spires.

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In 2010, the Coca-Cola Company announced the 5by20 campaign to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs along the company’s value chain. The company announced Tuesday it had reached 1.2 million women entrepreneurs as of the end of 2015.

While there’s still a long way to go to reach the 5 million the campaign set as its goal, results from a survey of initiative participants in South Africa hint at some progress: Average business sales generated by women surveyed over a one-year period increased 44 percent and average personal income earned by those women increased 23 percent. More than half of the women surveyed reported their business improved “a lot” over the span of the study and 90 percent of them reported planning to keep their business open.

Tobias Wall: 618-239-2501, @Wall_BND

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