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Board Approves Contracts for Newly Recruited Doctors

May 24, 2012 5:41 p.m.

Contracts were approved for five new doctors recently recruited by Sarah Bush Lincoln. The SBL Board of Directors approved the contracts at it April meeting and the physicians will begin practicing here at various times pending credentialing.

The new physicians include Anesthesiologist Jennifer Huelsbusch, MD, an Effingham native, who will begin practicing July 2; Obstetrician-Gynecologist Mel Fleming, MD, who will also begin practicing July 2 in SBL Women’s Healthcare; Child Psychiatrist Kathleen Hecksel, MD, who will begin practicing at SBL Family Medical Center, Mattoon in August; Orthopedic Surgeon Jeremy Stevens, MD, who will begin practicing at SBL Orthopedics & Sports Medicine October 1; and Family Practice Physician Robert Biggs, MD, an Arcola native who will complete another year of residency before practicing at the SBL Arcola Clinic in the summer 2013.

Sarah Bush Lincoln President & CEO Tim Ols said, “We are so pleased to be able to recruit several physicians with ties to our area. They will be a tremendous asset to our medical staff, and fill a vital need in our community.”

In other business, the board received an update regarding ongoing construction projects following a tour of the newly opened and remodeled Surgery Reception and Consultation Rooms.

Construction on the new Admitting and Phlebotomy (blood draw) area on the west side of the Main Lobby is nearly complete and set to open in June following an inspection by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Work on treatment rooms in the ER will be underway in June. Phase one of creating private patient rooms has begun. The demolition on the third floor is complete, while rooms on the fourth floor will be under construction. Those rooms are scheduled to open in February.

New construction of an electric services building on the north side of the Health Center began in May, while the creation of a new room in the Critical Care Unit is underway. Work has begun on the Wound Healing Center, which will be located on the third floor of the Medical Office Building adjacent to the SBL Surgery Clinic. Under the medical direction of General Surgeon Brad Wilson, the Wound Healing Center will feature a hyperbaric chamber which uses highly concentrated oxygen inside a tube-like structure to aid the hard-to-heal wounds. It is scheduled to open mid summer.

Plans are also underway to expand the Walk-in Clinic in the Mattoon Marketplace shopping center. The Walk-in Clinic is available to the general public seeking medical care, and serves as a back up to local medical offices that cannot accommodate additional patients who may need more immediate attention, as well as those who face medical issues after normal office hours and on weekends. It is scheduled to open late summer. The Walk-in Clinic, currently located in Prairie Pavilion I, will remain open.

It also heard about a partnership with Altamont Medical Center and John Opilka, DO, in which Sarah Bush Lincoln is providing diagnostic services in Dr. Opilka’s office. The services include X-ray, ultrasound and laboratory services and should be available in late May.

The Board members also learned about the outcome of the recent employee opinion survey administered by Health Stream, and responses by Sarah Bush Lincoln employees were compared to responses by other healthcare employees nationwide. The results indicated that Sarah Bush Lincoln employees ranked in the 96th percentile nationwide when asked about their overall satisfaction as a place to work, and in the 94th percentile nationwide when asked whether Sarah Bush Lincoln inspires them to do their best work.

Ols said, “Of course we’re very pleased with the outcome of our employee survey. We often hear anecdotic stories about the connectivity of our workforce and this data truly backs up what we thought we knew. It also indicates that we have room for improvement as any organization would have. In the coming months, we’ll take a closer look at what the data tells us and work on specific areas of need.”


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