Ottawa Regional Hospital to join OSF HealthCare System

Photo Caption: The main hospital of Ottawa Regional Hospital and Healthcare Center at 1100 East Norris Drive in Ottawa.

OTTAWA — After a nearly 15-month study, a definitive agreement has been signed that may result in Ottawa Regional Hospital and Healthcare Center joining the OSF HealthCare System.

The hospital is to be renamed OSF Saint Elizabeth Medical Center. It is expected to join the Catholic system later this spring.

Before a change of ownership occurs, Ottawa Regional’s corporate members must ratify the proposed arrangement and the organizations must receive approval from the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board.

“We have determined that partnering with OSF HealthCare will in fact enhance our ability to provide outstanding medical care,” said Robert Chaffin, president and CEO of Ottawa Regional, in a statement released Jan. 19. “The new affiliation will provide local residents improved access to high quality, cost effective services.”

OSF HealthCare, owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis and based in Peoria, includes OSF HealthCare System, consisting of six acute care facilities in Illinois and one in Michigan, one long-term care facility and two colleges of nursing. It also has a physician organization, OSF Medical Group that includes a multi-specialty group of more than 650 member physicians and advanced care practitioners in more than 90 locations throughout Illinois.

Kevin Schoeplein, CEO of OSF Healthcare, said the new affiliation means bright hopes for the future of health care in Ottawa and surrounding areas.

“We are pleased with and appreciative of the support we’ve received from business leaders, elected officials, other hospitals, and from our respective medical staffs, including independent physicians who serve our patients,” said Schoeplein. “It demonstrates a collaborative, vested interest in our mission to serve persons with the greatest care and love in a community that celebrates the gift of life.”

Among the anticipated benefits local residents will experience is greater access to integrated primary, secondary, and advanced tertiary health care services. Achieving excellence in clinical innovations, services, quality, costs and outcomes have also been identified as goals of both organizations.

“As one of the largest health care networks in Illinois, OSF HealthCare has invested wisely in new processes and technologies to better serve patients,” said Steven Gonzalo, governing board chairman of Ottawa Regional. “Our integration will make us more efficient.”

Employees of Ottawa Regional in good standing as of the closing date will continue to be employed after the transition, according to the Jan. 19 statement.

The affiliation will not affect or change the medical staff status or clinical privileges held by members of the Ottawa hospital’s medical staff. However, the medical staff bylaws will be amended to include certain prohibitions as required by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Health Care Services. The employment agreements of all physicians presently employed by the Ottawa hospital will be honored.

OSF also owns an extensive network of home health services in Illinois and Michigan known as OSF Home Care Services and also owns OSF Saint Francis, Inc., comprised of healthcare-related businesses, and OSF HealthCare Foundation, the philanthropic arm of OSF HealthCare System and OSF Home Care.

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