Decatur Hospital Builds On Partnership With SIU Med School
An expanded healthcare collaboration will save more Decatur residents from having to travel out of town to get specialized care. Decatur Memorial Hospital and the Springfield-based SIU School of Medicine have expanded their longtime collaboration to include services like neurology, behavioral health, and reconstructive surgery.
Decatur area patients have had to travel to Springfield to get care in those areas.
So many have done so, that about 15 percent of SIU Healthcare’s patient volume comes from Decatur and Macon County. But now, SIU Healthcare CEO and SIU School of Medicine Executive Associate Dean Jerry Kruse said more of that care will be available at Decatur Memorial.
“We already have some pediatric cardiology here, we’ve already done some plastic surgery and some other things," he said. "The gastroenterology and the dermatology are ready to go on line quickly. We’re ready to move fairly quickly with neurology and some other surgical specialties as well. So one by one we’ll add them as the need is there, as we have the ability to do that.”
SIU School of Medicine's family medicine clinic, which has treated patients for 35 years, provides those at Decatur Memorial Hospital with care from SIU resident physicians and medical students.
"It's not always easy to recruit physicians to come to a smaller community, and we're smaller than a lot of the communities around here," said Decatur Mayor Julie Moore-Wolfe, who also serves as Director of Community and Government Relations for the hospital. "We've got some great doctors here, but we don't have the depth of services that we need to take care of everything."
Besides adding additional clinical services, the expanded collaboration will include educational residencies at Decatur Memorial’s rural sites in Arthur and Sullivan, and the use of SIU’s telemedicine program, Telehealth.