Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Third Time's The Charm--Huntley Centegra Hospital Approved
The vote was 6 to 3 this time in favor of building Centegra Huntley. A year ago the Board came up 6 to 2 against on a preliminary vote and in December tied 4 to 4. This time Rochelle dental administrator Kathy Olson changed her vote to "yes" and Bloomington union official David Penn, missing from the last meeting, also voted for approval.
"Wait a minute while I text my wife," said smiling Centegra CEO Michael Eesley before he'd comment on the approval. "It's good news for the staff of Centegra, the residents of our communities and everyone in the area," he said as he put away his phone.
Centegra Board member Chuck Ruth was ebullient saying, "It's sure been a long time coming." He harked back 60 years when his father and others built Huntley's first doctor's office. "Of course, I was just a kid," he said.
Huntley Mayor Chuck Sass promised he'd grit his teeth until the hospital was built, "so I can go to Centegra Huntley for my knee operation."
"Seriously," said Sass, "this is great for Huntley."
"This is big for us, too," said Algonquin Village President John Schmitt informed of the decision Tuesday evening. Besides bringing easier health care access to Algonquin and Lake in the Hills, Centegra's new hospital at Haligus and Reed Road's expected to employ about 800 workers during construction and about 1,100 health care personnel when it's finished. Groundbreaking won't be until next year, though, and the hospital's expected to take two years to build.
The Review Board first decided Tuesday that it didn't matter that a pair of Advocate Health Care studies claiming Huntley Centegra would steal patients from exising hospitals were misfiled. The slipup had caused an HFSRB administrative law judge to send Centegra's application back to the Board without a decision on whether it had made its case. Then, without discussion, members voted to approve the 128-bed facility.
The OK forCentegra Huntley's appeared to doom a competing request from Mercy Health System for a new hospital in Crystal Lake. However, according to the Crystal Lake Northwest Herald, Tuesday afternoon the Board postponed a vote on that application until September.
In the pic: Centegra CEO Michael Eesley making a final pitch for Centegra Huntley before the State Health Facilities and Services Review Board gave its approval Tuesday.