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New Monmouth emergency department to open in May, will help OSF meet higher demand

New emergency department at OSF Holy Family Medical Center in Monmouth under construction.
Jane Carlson
Tri States Public Radio
A $5.5 million emergency department expansion at OSF Holy Family Medical Center in Monmouth is expected to be finished in May.

Holy Family Medical Center is a critical part of OSF’s strategy to care for Monmouth, Galesburg, and the surrounding communities following the closure of Cottage Hospital.

Since Galesburg’s Cottage Hospital suspended operations in January, OSF HealthCare has been the area’s sole healthcare provider.

That means both OSF Holy Family Medical Center in Monmouth and OSF St. Mary Medical Center in Galesburg are seeing upticks in volume and capacity for inpatient and outpatient services.

In Monmouth, a new, much larger emergency department currently under construction will help meet that demand.

The redesigned and relocated emergency department will have ten treatment rooms, a behavioral health “safe” room, a decontamination room, and a dedicated triage area.

It will also have a multi-functional space on the back side that’s adjacent to the surgery department.

“During the day when we have a high volume of outpatient surgery procedures we have some bays that we can utilize to support that growing volume of surgery that we’re seeing in Monmouth,” said Lisa DeKezel, President of the Monmouth and Galesburg hospitals.

DeKezel said the new emergency department in Monmouth features crucial care elements for rural communities – and is a strategic use of available space.

“We really tried to make good decisions about best use of a 10,000-square foot renovation so we can support multiple areas of growth that are occurring at Holy Family in Monmouth,” she said.

Interior shot of redesigned emergency department.
OSF HealthCare
The redesigned and relocated emergency department will feature 10 treatment rooms, a decontamination room, a behavioral health "safe" room, and a dedicated triage area.

The current emergency room at Holy Family is operating normally during construction, which is now expected to be complete in May.

In all, the project is costing $5.5 million.

Over $3 million of that came from the Community Health Foundation of Warren and Henderson Counties, whose mission is to facilitate access to medical care for rural residents and maintain up-to-date facilities.

DeKezel said more funding came from local businesses and organizations, and the rest came from OSF.

“We’re all in to do this and really be there long-term providing care for the community,” she said.

Holy Family is a critical part of OSF’s strategy to serve Monmouth, Galesburg, and the surrounding communities, DeKezel said.

The Monmouth hospital is sharing hospitalists and emergency department staff with the Galesburg hospital, and the goal is to keep more patients local for inpatient and outpatient services.

“We are beginning to keep a higher volume of general medical patients on our inpatient floor,” DeKezel said. “That will continue to expand at Holy Family in Monmouth.”

Cottage’s closure coincided with a pandemic surge, adding another wrinkle to a changing – and challenging – local healthcare landscape.

That made emergency volumes – and wait times – in Monmouth and Galesburg quite high.

DeKezel said that was the case everywhere during the surge, but getting COVID-19 cases under control has been like peeling the top off the problem locally.

Wait times have now come down greatly and OSF is where they expected to be in terms of volume and capacity.

“We’re doing well, our footing is there, and we’re prepared,” DeKezel said.

DeKezel said many former Cottage employees have come to work for OSF in Monmouth and Galesburg, and it’s been encouraging to see staff members “lock arms” to care for their communities.

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