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Franciscan St. James Health broke ground on its new patient pavilion and emergency department expansion on May 31. The expansion will happen at its Olympia Fields campus.

With a deadline to be completed in 2018, the new construction is part of a $137 million investment. The Chicago Tribune reports that the investment will help Franciscan St. James in its efforts to reduce the total cost of care, enhance operational efficiency, improve quality and improve performance across its system of care.engineering equipment

In March, the plan for reconstruction was approved by the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board. It will consolidate inpatient services at the hospital’s Olympia Fields campus as well as enhance outpatient services in Chicago Heights. As a result, the hospital will be better able to provide healthcare to local residents.

Considering that an average of two clinics open each day and 15,000 urgent care centers are expected to open by 2019, Chicago residents could greatly benefit from improvements such as this. Soon enough, more Americans will have access to healthcare than ever before.

“Our challenge is to keep pace with all of the ongoing, drastic changes in healthcare and healthcare delivery, and to keep providing high quality services,” said Sister Jane Marie Klein, chairperson of the board, Franciscan Alliance, Inc.

In order to accommodate the coming changes, the Olympia Fields campus will be doubled in size and include additional private inpatient rooms, expanded parking, and improved public transportation access. The Chicago Heights Franciscan ExpressCare will also be expanded and offer 24/7 urgent care access to city residents.

The hospital will continue to be a teaching hospital by expanding its primary care network.

“We will select the best and brightest of these physicians we helped to train to expand our primary care network,” said Franciscan St. James President and CEO Arnie Kimmel. “So when our plan is fully implemented, Franciscan St. James will offer the optimum system of care with the facilities, locations and services to promote greater health and wellness in the entire area.”