Structural and other changes at St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center will result in a more convenient and modernized facility that will continue to house current and new services, Senior Vice President Leanne Irsik said. Re-construction and remodeling will begin this fall.
The main building, which opened 50 years ago, will be razed, as will the neighboring Allied Services Building (ASB) that has been vacant for more than four years.
Other options for the ASB were considered but rejected because of infrastructure problems. The Dominican Sisters, who founded St. Rose, were part of the decision-making process that will lead to the razing of the outdated structure, Irsik noted.
The first floor of the newer Medical Office Building (MOB) will be remodeled, while plans for its mostly open second floor are still being considered. The MOB opened in 2009.
The ASB razing will allow a convenient and attractive approach to the MOB, as well as ample parking, Irsik said.
The entire project will take close to a year but plans are to move into the MOB next spring.
“We have better defined our scope of services going forward and it is prudent to ensure our structures support these services,” Irsik said. “The changes in health care across the country reflect an emphasis on outpatient models of care and a decreasing reliance on hospitals. The reduced cost of outpatient-based care is a key factor. This new plan will enable us to provide the most effective and efficient space for patients, medical providers and other staff.
“We were faced with many challenges in maintaining this aging, over-sized facility after changing from a hospital to an outpatient center in 2011,” she continued. “Maintenance costs have been significant, and it is time to consolidate and modernize.”
Irsik also noted that St. Rose owns the office building just south of St. Rose; that building’s currently unused space will accommodate some personnel and services.
Throughout this transition, St. Rose will continue to focus on family medicine, urgent care, internal medicine, and home-health and hospice services.
In addition, radiology, laboratory and cardiopulmonary services remain priorities, Irsik said.
All current services and even some new ones are being analyzed to determine what is best for patients and providers, as well as affiliated specialists, she summarized.
“St. Rose’s commitment to caring for people with high-quality diagnostic services and professional doctors and nurses remains strong,” the vice president said. “The heavy financial burden of this facility has made it difficult to be as efficient as we can be.
“With the move to a more efficient space, we understand there is the very real side effect of not needing as many people to do the same things we did before, when the space was larger and more inefficient,” Irsik continued. “We are working through the planning now on those very difficult decisions on how we manage that new staffing plan with the dedicated and loyal associates who have served us well for many years.
“They are challenging plans and our priority is to treat our associates who might be affected by these changes with the respect, reverence and fairness that they have shown for us during their affiliation with St. Rose. It has been a long journey for many.
“While we have always had exceptional services and staff, the physical plant has been a financial and operational handicap,” Irsik commented. “Eliminating unnecessary costs will benefit our patients, families and staff. Cost savings can be used to recruit physicians, update equipment and technology, and offer competitive wages for our top-quality people.”