CHAMPAIGN – With more than half its patients driving in from outside Champaign-Urbana these days, Christie Clinic thinks some land off the junction of two interstates might be a handy spot to build a new clinic.
In fact, Christie Clinic is already working with a local developer, the Atkins Group, on a study that could lead to a new clinic being built right off the I-74/I-57 interchange in the far northwest corner of Champaign, according to the clinic's Chief Executive Alan Gleghorn.
"A little over 50 percent of our patients come from outside Champaign-Urbana ZIP codes, and we've seen that continue to rise," Gleghorn said. "We want to have absolutely easy access for patients from that area."
A bit more definite is a new branch clinic Christie Clinic is about "90 percent certain" it will open next year in Urbana at a location yet to be determined, Gleghorn said.
"We've really made a commitment to be more accessible to our patients," he added.
Gleghorn said a new clinic off the interchange (where developer Clinton Atkins owns several hundred acres to the north, according to the Champaign County plat book) isn't a done deal. Christie Clinic is also looking at the possibility of further expanding its main clinic downtown, and expects to make a final decision on a project by the end of March.
"We're just maxed out on space at our current facility," he said. "So it will be one or the other."
A mainstay of downtown Champaign, Christie Clinic has already shifted its primary care services out of the downtown building to its newer branch facility on Windsor Road and invested $6 million in new diagnostics – an MRI and a CT scanner – for the downtown clinic in the past two years.
Christie also has some new technology upgrades in the works at the downtown clinic and is building a new radiation oncology facility on part of its downtown parking lot.
Gleghorn said Christie can continue expanding onto parts of its parking lot, but would need to work with the city to find parking elsewhere for its patients in an area where parking is already in short supply.
Christie Clinic has also been expanding its branch clinic system in the last 18 months, adding clinics in Tuscola and Danville in addition to its existing clinics in Rantoul and Mahomet.
Gleghorn said part of the study under way with the Atkins Group is looking at which medical services would stay downtown and which would move to the new clinic off the interstates.
He said there's also a possibility that other medical providers might join Christie Clinic in that area, making medical services off the interstate just as handy as shopping has become.
"We don't know the scope of services that we'd keep downtown and what we'd move out there," he added. "As you can imagine, there is a whole bunch of details to work out on this."