SBL Board Approves Renovation Projects

March 2, 2012 1:22 p.m.

Sarah Bush Lincoln will be opening a larger walk-in clinic at a new location later this spring in an effort to handle the large volume of people seeking care and lessen the wait time at its current Walk-in Clinic. The SBL Board of Directors approved the plan at its January meeting.

The new Walk-in Clinic, will be located in a more visible and accessible location and replaces the clinic currently housed in Prairie Pavilion I. SBL President and CEO Tim Ols explained that the volume in the clinic far exceeded expectations and has caused over-crowding and lengthy waits for people seeking care. The new clinic will feature extended hours and is expected to open in mid-spring.

Ols explained, “This clinic should create greater access to care at a reasonable cost, the same as an office visit. At the same time, with extended hours, it should help alleviate the number of people seeking care in the Emergency Room.” People are seen in the clinic on a first-come first-served basis, but Ols added, life-threatening illnesses and injuries should continue to seek care in the ER.

“When looking at the high volume of patients in the Walk-in Clinic, we discovered a large portion of them were children who weren’t able to get a timely appointment,” Ols said. To help relieve that issue, Advanced Practice Nurse Eliza Smith recently joined the SBL Pediatric Clinic.

In other business, the board approved several renovation plans to the Health Center’s Medical Office Building and Family Medical Center in Mattoon.

The renovations include the expansion of the METS (Monitored Exercise Testing Services) space on the first floor, bringing together diagnostics and nuclear medicine; relocation and expansion of the Center for Interventional Pain to the first floor to better accommodate the number of people seeking care; and opening a Wound Healing Center on the third floor. The center will feature a hyperbaric chamber which uses highly concentrated oxygen to help difficult-to-treat wounds heal more quickly.

The entire second floor will be devoted to Women’s Healthcare. The clinic will expand to alleviate an over-crowded feeling in the clinic and eliminate lengthy wait times for gynecology appointments. Additionally, Sarah Bush Lincoln is actively recruiting an OB-GYN to join the busy practice consisting of OB-GYNs Rick Miller, DO, Michael Benson, DO, and Scott Meyer, MD; and Advanced Practice Nurses Nicole Wochner and Leslie Taggart.

In addition, Ols said, Family Medical Center in Mattoon will undergo a renovation spreading the numerous doctors’ offices into three or four per office. It should create better service in a more relaxed and comforting environment.

The board also learned that the Master Facility Plan construction and renovation of the Health Center is moving along as planned. Ols explained that the Admitting, Phlebotomy and Dietitian Consult areas, which are moving to the west side of the Main Lobby, should be complete in April; the Surgery Reception area renovation is underway and is expected to be complete in May, while work on the third floor to convert semi-private patient rooms to private rooms will begin shortly. The first phase of the private room conversion should be complete by August.

“We’ve asked our construction crews to be mindful of our resting patients, and whenever possible, they work during day hours and stop by 9 pm. There are times that sounds created in the ground floor may inadvertently reverberate up the walls and cause a disturbance. We are working with our contractors to avoid these types of occurrences. We have some noise reduction items available to our patients such as ear plugs, sleep masks and other things that may create a more restful environment,” Ols added.

Joining the Health Center and the community in February is family practice physician, Bernie Ranchero, MD. He is joining SBL Charleston Family Practice. Dr. Ranchero comes to the community from St. Louis where he served as the regional medical director of Doctors Express, a chain of urgent care medical clinics in Missouri. He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Illinois, and his medical degree from Xavier University School of Medicine. He also earned an MBA at Illinois Benedictine University. He is board certified by the American Board of Family Practice. He completed his residency in family practice at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, where he served as chief resident. To make an appointment with Dr. Ranchero, please call 345-7700.

Also joining the Health Center in February is Javed Sheikh, MD. Dr. Sheikh is a hospitalist who will care for people admitted to SBL. Dr. Sheikh comes to SBL from Mercy Hospital in Jainsville, Wis. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and his medical degree at Ross University School of Medicine, Dominica. He completed his residency at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, and a fellowship in geriatric medicine at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and American Board of Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine.

Sarah Bush Lincoln also entered into an agreement with TechSolve, a company based in Ohio that focuses on performance improvement using the Lean model of improvement. The Health Center’s goal is improve its efficiency, while improving patient experience and medical outcomes.

For more information, contact Public Relations at 217 258-2420.

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