Metro-east veterans will soon have a new, larger outpatient facility to meet their medical needs.
Ground is expected to be broken in September on a new facility at 1190 Fortune Blvd. in Shiloh, which will be replacing the Belleville Community Based Outpatient Clinic.
“Ideally, by spring of next year, we will be working out of our new location in Shiloh,” said Gary Drikow, VA St. Louis Health Care System chief of design and engineering.
The name of the new facility has yet to be decided, according to Drikow.
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“The VA is considering a name change that may include calling it the Shiloh CBOC or St. Clair County CBOC, so as to not confuse veterans with the new location,” Drikow said.
No surgeries or specialty services take place CBOCs. The facilities are for acute, outpatient care needs. The idea is to serve veterans near where they live.
“Veterans can go closer to home, rather than a full-blown hospital for more minor visits,” said Drikow.
Though, like any VA facility, they are open to all who have served.
“Any veteran that is being provided services by the VA Health Care System, nationwide, can make an appointment and be seen by a physician,” Drikow said.
Conditions requiring more specialized treatment can be referred to John Cochran for Jefferson Barracks VA Medical Centers in St. Louis, Drikow said.
Tom Grunloh, of Effingham-based Grunloh Construction Inc., is the contractor for the new Shiloh facility, which will be in the Parkway 64 Corporate Center, across the street from Heartland Women’s Healthcare.
“I won the (site selection review) lease about a year ago, and this is my third (VA clinic) I’ve built now,” he said.
Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier is excited that area veterans will have an upgraded facility. Its location, which will be close Interstate 64, as well as both the new St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and Memorial Hospital East, is also a good thing, Vernier said, in case of emergencies.
“It’s all gonna be right here for them and their families,” Vernier said. “It’ll be a very large conglomeration of health care facilities in this area, and it makes it easier.”
No state or federal grant funding is being used for the project. It is a private venture of GCI with a company called G Venture, Grunloh said.
With design and civil engineering complete, Grunloh said he’s already submitted his building permit application to the village and anticipates a green light soon.
“Hopefully, before or by the end of August, we will be in the ground with foundation and getting going, and hopefully (it will) be completed by end of February 2018,” Grunloh said.
John Marquart, Shiloh village administrator, confirmed the application is currently under review.
“We are just reviewing all of the civil engineering, and once that’s done, we will return any feedback we have. If there are any issues to be addressed, we will have that back to him I suspect within the next week or possibly sooner,” Marquart said.
With no zoning variances requested the permit process shouldn’t have to go before the Shiloh Planning Commission for approval, Marquart said.
“We hope for construction to be complete by the first of the year, and then it would take potentially another couple of months for the site to become activated,” Drikow said.
Twice the size
The new, one-story Shiloh CBOC will be more than double the size of the Belleville CBOC, going from approximately 5,000 square feet to about 13,000, Drikow said.
“The space is laid out differently to help better serve the patients so the doctors and nurses can work together better. It’s compartmentalized in a way. The VA refers to the type of design as ‘Patient Aligned Care Team’ model to better patient flow perspective for treating patients,” Drikow said.
The Belleville CBOC currently has 15 staff members, including three doctors, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and medical support assistants, psychologist, telehealth technician, and pharmacist.
Drikow said the staff at the Shiloh facility will increase 21 employees, including four physicians, licensed practical nurses and medical support assistants, and one psychologist, telehealth technician, pharmacist and registered dietician.
“Over time, this number may grow based on patient work load,” Drikow said.
Official notification has yet to be given to patients being served out of the Belleville CBOC, but will be soon, Drikow said.