Mercy plans $400 million overhaul

Project will reevaluate use of the current Rockton facility, see new hospital built on Riverside

Staff Report

MercyRockford Health System announced Thursday plans to merge its Rockton hospital and new a facility planned for the east side of town into a single healthcare body.

The North Rockton Avenue location and a new East Riverside Boulevard will be managed by a single body, with divergent specialized care offered at the two hospitals.

“The plans will bring significant patient care and economic benefits to the Rockford community and the surrounding region,” MercyRockford said in a release. “Offering two locations increases regional accessibility and supports strong economic development and job growth, creating a powerful regional health system to drive health care to the Rockford area. This plan will greatly enhance MercyRockford’s ability to serve patients from throughout northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.”

The company says that after evaluation of the Rockton campus it was determined that the site was not a viable option for a new hospital. MercyRockford owns 263 acres of land at its planned Riverside campus.

“The N. Rockton Avenue campus has quality facilities for a variety of services and we will continue to provide a wide range of adult outpatient and inpatient care, concentrating services into facilities that have been recently renovated.”

MercyRockford plans to open the former Rockford Clinic building to other healthcare organizations in the community. “This is another way we will transform the campus while strengthening partnership and creating job opportunities in the neighborhood,” CEO Javon R. Bea said.

The Riverside campus will be the primary intensive care location due to its location adjacent to I-90, allowing it to serve the wider region.

MercyRockford says the total cost of the project will be around $400 million dollars.

“Our plans will provide tremendous economic development for the Rockford area,” said Bea. “This plan represents the best of all worlds, including a continued commitment to the existing campus and surrounding neighborhood, as well as investment in a second campus that will generate significant economic activity relating to employment, construction jobs, income, and retail sales in the community.”

MercyRockford said it anticipates construction to begin in late 2016.

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