Year after moving into area, OSF plans more expansion

Year after moving into area, OSF plans more expansion

URBANA — Two hospitals acquired, two new urgent care centers opened, hospice and home care services added and an expanding physician practice in Urbana — that was some of OSF HealthCare's first year in Champaign and Vermilion counties.

Coming up for year two: two more urgent care centers, called "Urgo" centers, opening soon and an OSF-owned medical practice in Danville.

Stay tuned for more, said OSF's regional president for these communities, Dr. Jared Rogers.

Peoria-based OSF HealthCare bought the two former Presence Health hospitals in Urbana and Danville — now OSF Heart of Mary and OSF Sacred Heart medical centers — Feb. 1, 2018, and had its first two Urgo centers opened in Champaign before the first anniversary of the sale.

The next two Urgo centers, in Urbana and Danville, will likely open this spring, he said, and while a closing date hasn't been set yet for OSF's planned purchase of the Danville Polyclinic, that's targeted for April.

"Our desire was to partner where we could, and where we couldn't, to add the services," Rogers said.

OSF doesn't have major construction plans for the Urbana and Danville hospitals, but it has been sprucing up the patient care and surgery areas, Rogers said.

"It's kind of like moving in a house and making it yours," he said.

Meanwhile, the OSF medical office building across the street from the Urbana hospital is housing a growing physician practice that adheres to OSF hospitals' charity care policies, Rogers said.

A pediatric clinic that opened there last June is being staffed by Peoria-based pediatric specialists who see patients in Urbana on a regular basis, Rogers said.

A pediatric psychologist will be joining OSF doctors in Urbana in March, he said.

While children's surgeries are still done at OSF Children's Hospital of Illinois, having these specialists in Urbana every week is sparing many parents the drives to Peoria for consultations and post-surgery visits, Rogers said.

Since 2016, there have been 2,000 children from Champaign-Urbana who have received care from OSF's Children's Hospital in Peoria, he said.

OSF also has established a four-provider primary care practice in the Urbana medical office building and is also adding to its cardiology practice there, Rogers said.

While there's still room to add more doctors in this building, Rogers said there will likely come a time when OSF will seek out other locations in the area if growth continues as it has.

One recent expansion initiative of OSF's didn't pan out.

Dr. David Fletcher said he turned down OSF's bid to buy an interest in Safeworks Illinois, his occupational medicine and therapy practice at his 217 Medical Center Campus at 1806 N. Market St., C.

Fletcher said he negotiated with OSF for about eight months, and part of the deal would have involved him staying on with this practice, but he ultimately decided he can do a better job as an independent.

OSF wanted him to close the spa services and convenient care center on his North Market Street campus, Fletcher said. He's currently planning to relocate the convenient care center from the back to the front of the North Market Street property to boost its visibility, he said.

"We're very interested in making sure there are adequate occupational health services for our communities," Rogers said. "So, however we can make that happen and partner with Dr. Fletcher and Safeworks and help build that, we're aiming at that."

OSF has been adding services in Champaign and Vermilion counties that it sees people needing and valuing, Rogers said, and there are other specialties OSF may also see as a benefit to add for its patients in the local area, Rogers said.

"Bariatric surgery is a service line we don't currently have in Champagin-Urbana or Danville," he said. "Nor do we have an ambulatory surgery center in Champaign-Urbana."

Rogers said he's been impressed to see OSF living its mission, and he's pleased with the progress in the local area.

"I think it's brought a couple of different things to the community overall," he said. "One is a sense of optimism and change to the community that there will be a different option, another option, for health care."

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