Ground bro­ken on state-of-the art med­i­cal cen­ter

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - FRONT PAGE - By Kevin Martin

Mercy Health-Lo­rain has of­fi­cially bro­ken ground on a brand new 20,000- square foot sta­teof-the-art med­i­cal cen­ter at Mercy Health-Allen Hospi­tal in Oberlin.

In an Oct. 12 cer­e­mony, Mercy Health-Lo­rain and com­mu­nity lead­ers cap­tured the essence of Mercy Allen’s role in the com­mu­nity, and look­ing for­ward to a fu­ture of con­tin­ued in­no­va­tion health­care ser­vices in Oberlin and across Lo­rain County.

The new cen­ter will of­fer com­pre­hen­sive and co­or­di­nated care that in­cludes pri­mary, walk-in ser­vices in ad­di­tion to highly-co­or­di­nated lab and imag­ing ser­vices.

“We, as an or­ga­ni­za­tion, con­tinue to be re­spon­sive to the needs of the com­mu­ni­ties we serve,” said Ed Ruth, pres­i­dent of Mercy Health-Allen Hospi­tal. “To­day’s ground-break­ing re­news our com­mit­ment and prom­ise to help­ing make health care eas­ier and pro­vid­ing care ac­cess where it is needed most.”

De­signed as the prac­tice of the fu­ture, the med­i­cal of­fice build­ing will not only be equipped with the lat­est tech­nolo­gies for pa­tient care, but will in­clude con­ve­nient elec­tronic check-in kiosks and telemedicine ser­vices to help de­liver high qual­ity care where and when the pa­tient needs it.

“We know and un­der­stand the im­por­tance of want­ing our fam­i­lies to stay home to ac­cess care. There­fore, we must meet those needs and this is what brought us here to­day: re­spond­ing to the needs of the com­mu­nity is what drove the creation and plan­ning of the new­est mem­ber of the Mercy Health com­mu­nity,” Ruth said.

He said the build­ing will fill a de­mand for ad­di­tional pri­mary care and spe­cial­ists along with more lo­cal­ized, con­sol­i­dated ac­cess for pa­tients to get the care they need all un­der one roof.

“Our goal is con­ve­nience which al­lows us to de­liver on our prom­ise of mak­ing health care eas­ier for those we serve,” Ruth said.

In ad­di­tion, Mercy Health Walk-In Care and pri­mary care of­fices will use the new fa­cil­ity and con­tinue to of­fer a cost-ef­fec­tive, con­ve­nient ser­vice for many non-emer­gent ill­nesses such as colds, sore throats, al­ler­gies and more. The new med­i­cal of­fice build­ing will also serve as a re­newed ac­cess point for Oberlin Col­lege stu­dents who can ac­cess care into the evening and on week­ends.

“Com­mu­nity part­ner­ships are what al­low us to fur­ther strengthen our mis­sion and this project is an­other ex­am­ple of col­lab­o­ra­tion,” Ruth added.

Ed­win Oley, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of Mercy Health and CEO, Mercy Health-Lo­rain, served as pres­i­dent of Mercy Health-Allen from 2000-2007 af­ter the an­nounce­ment was made that the hospi­tal was set to close its doors.

“Evolv­ing the qual­ity, pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence and over­all fi­nan­cial per­for­mance al­lowed the or­ga­ni­za­tion to re­bound and we were not only able to save this hospi­tal, but we were able to make it one of the crown jew­els of our en­tire re­gion,” Oley said.

“I love the time that I spent here. It’s one of the most learned and knowl­edge­able health­care com­mu­ni­ties in the coun­try. We con­tinue to be very, very proud to be able to serve this com­mu­nity as we are do­ing.”

Oley added the new build­ing rep­re­sents an­other step for­ward for Mercy Health as it po­si­tions it­self to grow fur­ther, not­ing the re­cent open­ing of the Welling­ton Med­i­cal Cen­ter and Mercy Health’s up­com­ing 30,000-square foot Oak Point Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Lo­rain.

“To­day we’re proud to take out the shovel and break ground on what we know will be an amaz­ing fa­cil­ity for physi­cians, staff to de­liver the very best in pri­mary and spe­cialty care, along with com­mu­nity space that will help us fur­ther our goal of of­fer­ing pre­ven­tive care and ed­u­ca­tion qual­ity,” Oley said.

The com­mu­nity ef­fort to save Mercy Health-Allen Hospi­tal was un­der­scored by Linda Slocum, vice pres­i­dent of Oberlin City Coun­cil, re­call­ing the part­ner­ships and grass­roots or­ga­niz­ing keep­ing the hospi­tal in Oberlin.

“A vi­brant com­mu­nity with ex­cel­lent health care is crit­i­cal to the qual­ity of life. And when it be­came around the year 2000 as you’ve heard, when this small in­de­pen­dent hospi­tal was floun­der­ing, a look at its nearly 100-year his­tory reaf­firmed that good, ac­ces­si­bil­ity med­i­cal care was vi­tal to the Col­lege as well as the town,” Slocum said.

She added de­spite a few name changes over his­tory, the qual­ity of care and com­mit­ment to the Oberlin com­mu­nity has re­mained a con­stant in its role of en­hanc­ing the lives of Oberlin res­i­dents.

“We’re so glad that Mercy Health is one of the key stake­hold­ers in our com­mu­nity. I speak on be­half of the Oberlin City Coun­cil when I say thank you,” Slocum said.

“Thank you to the Mercy Health lead­ers who con­tinue to in­vest in the city of Oberlin. Thank you to those physi­cians and staff mem­bers who open their doors daily to care for our fam­i­lies and our chil­dren. Thank you to or­ga­ni­za­tions such as the Pren­tiss Foun­da­tion and other phil­an­thropic groups that al­low or­ga­ni­za­tions like this to ex­pand in or­der to meet our com­mu­nity needs.”

The de­vel­op­ment of the new build­ing is sup­ported through a do­na­tion from the Elis­a­beth Sev­er­ance Pren­tiss Foun­da­tion to the Mercy Health Foun­da­tion. Upon the death of Pren­tiss’ first hus­band, renowned sur­geon Dr. Dud­ley Allen, she funded the con­struc­tion of the orig­i­nal Allen Memo­rial Hospi­tal and the Allen Art Mu­seum, both in Oberlin, where Dr. Allen at­tended col­lege and where his par­ents resided.

The build­ing builds upon the legacy of Dr. Allen and Pren­tiss at the site where he was first memo­ri­al­ized.

“The con­nec­tion that both Dr. Allen and Elis­a­beth (Pren­tiss) have to this com­mu­nity is unique,” said Scott Pem­ber, pres­i­dent of Mercy Foun­da­tion. “With fi­nan­cial sup­port from part­ners, like the Elis­a­beth Sev­er­ance Pren­tiss Foun­da­tion, Mercy Health and the Mercy Foun­da­tion are able to pro­vide in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions to build health­ier com­mu­ni­ties to make health care more ac­ces­si­ble.”

Mercy of­fi­cials said the ground break­ing cer­e­mony sym­bol­izes Mercy Health’s com­mit­ment to build­ing a health­ier Lo­rain County. The build­ing is sched­uled to open in late 2019.

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