Carle, Presence Hospitals Get State Aid For Upgrades


Gov. Pat Quinn stopped in Urbana on Thursday to announce $4.7 million in grants for hospitals throughout east central Illinois.

“There’s no better investment than investing in health care,” Quinn said. “Whether you live in a city, or a suburb, or a rural community, we all need decent health care. This is very important to our economy; to our businesses...We have to make investments so that we have 21st Century medicine.”

The aid includes $217,502 for Urbana’s Presence Covenant Medical Center to upgrade automated doors, exam rooms, and the nurse’s station.

“We’ll be able to take on more patients,” said Eric Rhodes, vice president of operations for Presence.

Rhodes said the upgrades should improve care, even as he anticipates more patients coming in as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

“You know, right now we have one central nurse’s station that sits in the middle of the unit with exam rooms surrounding it,” Rhodes said. “By redesigning that entire area and having kind of pods and satellite stations for nurses, it allows that nurse to get to that room quicker. It’s going to increase the patient throughput, so now we can get patients in and out faster.”

Rhodes expects all of the changes will be completed before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Urbana’s Carle Foundation Hospital will get $423,805 in grant money to upgrade the Clinical Decision Unit and expand the ER.

“The grant funds in the Clinical Decision Unit helped modernize our space so we can provide efficient, time sensitive care plus facilitate decision-making and appropriate transitions to other hospital departments,” according to a statement from James Leonard, the CEO and president at Carle. “We believe positive patient experiences lead to improved patient outcomes and a healthier community.”

“Generating capital funds is very difficult in small, rural areas,” said Trina Casner, president and CEO of Pana Community Hospital, which is getting $172,385 from the state. “So, the grants and funds like these assist us in making the same sort of advancements and upgrades that larger facilities can in the urban areas.”

Pana Community Hospital is located in rural Christian County, about an hour and a half from Champaign-Urbana. Money from the grant will allow the hospital to purchase an electronic medical record system. Casner said the technology will make it easier to track patient records.

“There are definitely health care needs (in rural areas) that are unmet,” she said. “Software applications we’re able to purchase with this capital investment program will allow us to track and trend the diagnosis that are patients are coming in for and then we can look to programs to try and prevent those things before they end up ill and at our facility for treatment.”

Other central and eastern Illinois hospitals that will receive funding include:

Christian County

  • Taylorville Memorial Hospital, $187,977 to replace radiology equipment.

Coles County

  • Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, Mattoon, $274,467 for a new MRI machine.

DeWitt County

  • Dr. John Warner Hospital, Clinton, $172,565 for a fire suppression system.

Edgar County

  • Paris Community Hospital, $172,812 to construct a Multi-Purpose Building.

Ford County

  • Gibson Community Hospital, Gibson City, $178,392 to acquire radiology equipment.

Iroquois County

  • Iroquois Memorial Hospital, Watseka, $191,735 for life/safety code upgrades.

Kankakee County

  • Presence St. Mary’s Hospital, Kankakee, $197,103 for a new telemetry unit and pharmacy renovation.
  • Riverside Medical Center, Kankakee, $303,902 to acquire a linear accelerator.

Logan County

  • Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, Lincoln, $191,825 for new diagnostic equipment.

Macon County

  • Decatur Memorial Hospital, $282,856 for a new patient call system.
  • St. Mary’s Hospital, Decatur, $261,197 for anew Cardiac Catheterization Lab.

Montgomery County

  • Hillsboro Area Hospital, $172,677 for a new MRI machine.
  •  St. Francis Hospital, Litchfield, $205,032 for an emergency generator upgrade.

Piatt County

  • Kirby Medical Center, Monticello, $170,427 for new medical equipment and IT upgrades.

Sangamon County

  • Memorial Medical Center, Springfield, $398,987 for new hospital beds.
  • St. John’s Hospital, Springfield, $551,222 to establish a Neuro-Interventional Lab.

Shelby County

  • Shelby Memorial Hospital, Shelbyville, $178,325 for IT upgrades.

Vermilion County

  • Hoopeston Community Memorial Hospital, $170,720 for surgery and ER equipment upgrades.
  • Presence United Samaritans Medical Center, Danville, $296,292 for exterior façade renovation.

Story source: WILL