Carle plans expansions in Mattoon, Charleston

Carle plans expansions in Mattoon, Charleston

MATTOON – The Carle Foundation is, once again, making plans to expand medical services in Coles County.

After failing to win state approval to build an outpatient surgery center in Mattoon-Charleston, Carle announced Wednesday afternoon that it will now undertake a $5 million addition and renovation to its Carle Foundation Physicians building on Lerna Road in Mattoon and a renovation of its Park Drive facility in Charleston.

Plans call for adding 7,000 square feet to the Lerna Road building that will include two new larger rooms for the kinds of procedures commonly done in doctors' offices, officials at the Urbana hospital said.

Other plans for Lerna Road include:

– Space for a convenient care center.

– An expanded Carle Rx Express pharmacy with a drive-up service window.

– Improved access to cardiac stress testing and more space for stress echocardiography.

– Improved diagnostics that will include a new CT scanner, expanded lab and X-ray, MRI scanner, ultrasound, mammography and bone density testing.

– More and improved space for cancer treatments and consultations.

– More office space for visiting specialists.

– Telemedicine capabilities, so patients can consult with Carle specialists who aren't on the premises.

Carle officials said plans for the Park Drive location will include a two-room sleep lab, Carle Home Health Care services, a Carle hospice program and 5,000 square feet of space for therapy services.

The Park Street building was originally planned to accommodate a new Carle outpatient surgery center, the plans for which were rejected several times by the state Health Facilities Planning Board until Carle officials shelved the project earlier this year.

That building currently accommodates Carle Home Services, Carle spokeswoman Gretchen Robbins said.

Work on the projects will start in a couple of months, she said, with completion projected for 2009.

Effective immediately, Carle officials said hours for convenient care services will be expanded by adding another physician, Dr. Pedro Flores, to the medical staff in Coles County. Flores is taking last-minute and walk-in appointments, and the convenient care center is now open from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and on Saturday mornings, hospital officials said.

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