New OSF Center for Health-Streator dedicated

The former HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital in Streator is now known as the OSF Center for Health-Streator. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

STREATOR — With gladness, pledges for the future and acknowledgement of community concerns, OSF Healthcare System on Jan. 4 assumed ownership of the former St. Mary’s Hospital site previously operated by Hospital Sisters Health System.

The facility at 111 Spring St. is now known as the OSF Center for Health-Streator. An open house is planned from 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday, Jan. 16.

The transition, finalized in September, formally took place during a dedication ceremony in the center’s chapel.

“We accept, with gladness, responsibility for the health care needs of Streator residents, and we pledge to continue the legacy of healing started by the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis 140 years ago,” said Sister Diane Marie McGrew, OSF, president of OSF HealthCare.

Sister Maureen O’Connor, OSF, right, provincial superior, and Sister MaryBeth Culnan, OSF --- representing the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis --- pose with a statue of Mary the community has “lovingly” presented to the OSF Center for Health-Streator. The statue welcomed visitors to the lobby of the former HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital since the present facility was built in 1963. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

Sister Maureen O’Connor, OSF, left, provincial superior, and Sister MaryBeth Culnan, OSF — representing the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis — pose with a statue of Mary the community has “lovingly” presented to the OSF Center for Health-Streator. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

Two Hospital Sisters of St. Francis from Springfield — Sister Maureen O’Connor, provincial superior, and Sister MaryBeth Culnan — were present for the ceremonies. Sister Maureen served in pediatrics at St. Mary’s in the early 1970s and told The Catholic Post she has “lots of memories.” She also acknowledged leaving “a little piece of my heart” at the hospital, her first assignment.

The Hospital Sisters of St. Francis also left a piece of their tradition as a transition gift. In a niche just outside the chapel is an Italian wood statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary that had been in the lobby of St. Mary’s Hospital since the dedication of the present facility in 1963. An accompanying plaque says the statue has been “lovingly” presented by the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis to the OSF Center for Health-Streator.

“NEW MODEL OF CARE”

Those speaking at the Jan. 4 dedication addressed the anxiety some have expressed over the loss of an in-patient hospital in the community.

Dr. David Gorenz, regional CEO for OSF HealthCare, called establishing the facility as an OSF Center for Health a first step in implementing an innovative model of care “that has the potential to be among the finest in any rural community.”

Plans call for a state-of-the-art outpatient center to be built in the coming years. Until then, the facility on Spring St. will offer a variety of services, including laboratory, diagnostic imaging, outpatient procedures, and rehabilitiation services. Physician clinics will transition to the building’s third floor, while the first floor is dedicated to urgent care services.

OSF HealthCare is awaiting state approval for a stand-alone emergency center.

Father Michael Driscoll blesses the OSF Center for Health-Streator during dedication ceremonies on Jan. 4. The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody

Father Michael Driscoll blesses the OSF Center for Health-Streator during dedication ceremonies on Jan. 4. The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody

“I want to emphasize that in this new model of care, the vast majority of health care needs of Streator residents will be taken care of right here in this community,” said Gorenz. When in-patient stays are necessary, he said, there are several OSF medical centers in nearby communities whose care teams will have full access to medical records.

Gorenz pledged that OSF will “work earnestly with the community to make use of the existing building” when the new center is built.

Sister Diane Marie welcomed “with open arms” more than 180 former HSHS employees to the OSF family as “mission partners.” She also expressed appreciation to Streator community leaders for their supportive role in the transition.

Officiating at the blessing ritual was Father Michael Driscoll, chaplain and director of pastoral care at OSF Saint Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa. Offering an opening prayer was Sister M. Mikela Meidl, FSGM, a member of the OSF Healthcare System Board of Directors, who entrusted “our past, our present and our future” to Christ.

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