O'Fallon Progress

St. Elizabeth’s will open on Saturday

Herb Roach
Herb Roach

The long-awaited time has nearly come. On Saturday, Nov. 4 HSHS-St. Elizabeth’s will remove the coverings over their emergency signs and open the doors on their brand new state-of-the-art hospital and medical campus.

The road has not been short, nor easy, but we have reached the destination. This moment is the culmination of years of hard work by many dedicated, hard-working individuals that looked at an empty field in O’Fallon and saw an opportunity. We all owe a debt of gratitude to those visionaries and all the individuals who designed, built, or supported the hospital in any way. It is now time to celebrate, but let us not lose focus on the next big thing.

A new hospital is a good thing for O’Fallon, and it’s a great thing for the metro-east region. St. Elizabeth’s new medical campus will include 144-private patient rooms, an emergency department, state-of-the-art operating rooms, an advanced intensive care unit, and inpatient rehabilitation area. It will also allow St. Elizabeth’s to offer a wide array of inpatient and outpatient services, including cancer care, modern birthing suites, telehealth consultations featuring accredited stroke care, and award-winning heart care. All from a site that is centrally located and more readily accessible to the entire metro-east region.

For a long time now, health care traffic has always headed west and across the Mississippi River to one of the many St. Louis area hospitals, and with it went thousands of healthcare jobs. By offering high-quality, easily accessible care at the proposed St. Elizabeth’s Campus, we will keep those high-paying health care jobs in Illinois and help improve the quality of life for the residents of the entire metro-East region.

I understand that all those jobs will not come at once and right off the start, but eventually the area around Interstate 64, known as the “Healthcare Highway,” will be the healthcare engine that Southern Illinois has longed for. It is exciting to think that students who graduated from high schools in the metro-east, and have pursued a career in healthcare, will no longer have to move to St. Louis or Chicago or Kansas City to find a job; they will be able to return to a place where they grew up and a healthcare job will be available.

The opening of the new facility will be an important step for the future of HSHS-St. Elizabeth’s, the city of O’Fallon, and healthcare in the region.

I have other good news to share. North Green Mount Road will be completed prior to the opening of the hospital. There will still be some clean-up and landscaping to take place, but substantial completion of the roadway will be completed before the first ambulance run or patient intake.

As residents of O’Fallon, you should always be able to reach out to your elected officials and ask questions about what is happening in O’Fallon. Having open communications is important to me and something I care very deeply about. Thank you for reading, and please remember, my door is always open.