Herald-Whig View

Blessing Hospital expansion plan is good news

Posted: Jul. 12, 2018 1:40 pm

BLESSING Hospital is prepared to launch a $49.2 million building expansion if the state approves it.

This is good news on several levels, providing more jobs for construction crews, more single-bed rooms for the hospital and continuing growth for Quincy's largest employer -- with more than 2,300 people on its payroll.

Members of the Quincy City Council cleared the way this week for constructing two stories on the Moorman Pavilion at 11th and Oak. For those not familiar with the hospital campus, Moorman Pavilion is the patient tower completed at the end of 2014 to the northeast of the hospital's main entrance.

Maureen Kahn, president and CEO of Blessing Health System and Blessing Hospital, said the project could be completed by early 2021.

"At the time the Moorman Pavilion project started in 2012, our patient census could not justify the additional floors on the building," Kahn said. "But over the past six years, patient demand has steadily increased, and we feel the clinical case for expanding Moorman Pavilion can be made to the state."

Moorman Pavilion already represents a $70.4 million patient care facility. If Blessing gets the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board's permission to proceed, the hospital will finish the empty fourth floor and construct and finish a fifth and sixth floor. The hospital would then move 96 beds from a patient tower built in 1970 to the three new floors of single-bed rooms. Blessing plans to eventually ask permission to remodel all floors in its 1970 patient tower.

Blessing also is building a new 82,000-square-foot medical office building at the southeast corner of 48th and Broadway. That two-story project is expected to cost $41 million.

In the state application for that project, Blessing officials said there are no vacant medical office buildings on the campus at 11th and Broadway.

Quincy is a medical hub. It also is a retail, educational and entertainment destination in a broad region.

Blessing Hospital's leaders have long pursued growth and professional excellence. Somehow they still have time to make sure Blessing remains a good neighbor and a strong supporter of the community.