A frequent comment made by speakers at the Tuesday, May 31st ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) at St. Bernard Hospital was how this new facility and services represented the beginning of growth in Englewood.
In October of 2014, the Englewood community gathered as St. Bernard Hospital and broke ground on this new facility. Less than two years later over 350 guests gathering to celebrate and tour the magnificent $33 million, three-story health care facility, located in the heart of Chicago’s South Side.
The Ambulatory Care Center (6307 South Stewart Avenue) was conceived after the hospital conducted extensive community outreach to learn more about their residents and what they wanted and needed in terms of health and wellness care. What they found was that residents were either traveling outside of the community to see a physician, or they didn’t see a doctor at all. They had no local resource to address their non-emergent needs.
“The hospital’s Community Health Needs Assessment, which was completed in 2012, clearly identified the healthcare needs of our residents, and revealed a chronic lack of medical services, particularly for low-income families,” explained Charles Holland, St. Bernard’s president and CEO. “The need for additional resources in our community had been recognized for some time, and space in the main building of St. Bernard Hospital was at capacity,” he added. “The opening of our Ambulatory Care Center is an exceptional opportunity for us to better serve our community and to expand access to wellness and preventive medicine for thousands of people.”
The vision for St. Bernard’s Ambulatory Care Center was to create a one-stop health care facility with a patient friendly environment, and that’s exactly what it is. “With the opening of our Ambulatory Care Center, people are now able to access health care and specialty services close to their homes,” explains Holland. “The Englewood community deserves the same kind of services and healthcare that they can get in other communities, and we wanted to make sure that we provided it for them right here.”
Danny Davis said he commended the St. Bernard Hospital Board and officials for building a new hospital in an inner city in America. He said that was a “phenomenal that you do not see in this community.”
The ACC, which opens to the public on Tuesday, June 7th, transforms the way that St. Bernard Hospital delivers outpatient and specialty care. The 70,000 square foot, state-of-the-art health center provides an expansive and modern space with physician offices, as well as clinics including a primary care walk-in clinic, full service diagnostic imaging, orthopedics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, an onsite laboratory, and a pharmacy.
Specialty clinics include adult and pediatric asthma, cardiology, chronic diseases, diabetes, gastroenterology, otolaryngology,
pulmonology and rheumatology. The women’s wellness clinic offers pre-natal care, mammography screening, gynecology services, physical exams and free pregnancy tests.
“For 112 years, as a safety-net hospital, St. Bernard has continued its mission of providing high quality, comprehensive health care,” adds Holland. “Each year, more than 80,000 patients seek services from our hospital,” he continues. “Our Ambulatory Care Center represents our continued and unwavering commitment to being the community’s source for trusted healthcare.”
Alderman Willie Cochran of the 20th Ward worked with the hospital throughout the development and was the last one to make remarks before Archbishop Blasé J. Cupich performed a Blessing Service that he described as “the most humorous blessing he had ever done.”
The crowd followed Cochran in cheers of “Englewood, Englewood, Englewood” as he talked about the pride and spirit of hope the new development brings to the community. Cochran said, “There is more to the name than what we see and hear on television. What we see on television is not a reflection of what we see here today.
Cochran was proud of the investment in the community and thanked the St. Berrnard Hospital Board for their investment in the community and healthcare.