Ground broken on state-of-the art medical center
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.