In October of 2014, the Englewood community gathered as St. Bernard Hospital broke ground on its new Ambulatory Care Center (ACC). Less than two years later, on Tuesday, May 31st, the community gathered once again to celebrate the Ambulatory Care Center’s grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony and tours of the magnificent $33 million, three-story health care facility.
Located in the heart of Chicago’s south side, the ACC (6307 South Stewart Avenue) was conceived after the hospital conducted extensive community outreach to learn more about their residents and what they wanted and needed in terms of health and wellness care. What they found was that residents were either traveling outside of the community to see a physician, or they didn’t see a doctor at all. They had no local resource to address their non-emergent needs.
“The hospital’s Community Health Needs Assessment, which was completed in 2012, clearly identified the healthcare needs of our residents, and revealed a chronic lack of medical services, particularly for low-income families,” explained Charles Holland, St. Bernard’s president and CEO. “The need for additional resources in our community had been recognized for some time, and space in the main building of St. Bernard Hospital was at capacity,” he added. “The opening of our Ambulatory Care Center is an exceptional opportunity for us to better serve our community and to expand access to wellness and preventive medicine for thousands of people.”
The vision for St. Bernard’s Ambulatory Care Center was to create a one-stop health care facility with a patient friendly environment, and that’s exactly what it is. “With the opening of our Ambulatory Care Center, people are now able to access health care and specialty services close to their homes,” explains Holland. “The Englewood community deserves the same kind of services and healthcare that they can get in other communities, and we wanted to make sure that we provided it for them right here.”
The ACC, which opened to the public on Tuesday, June 7th, transforms the way that St. Bernard Hospital delivers outpatient and specialty care. The 70,000 square foot, state-of-the-art health center provides an expansive and modern space with physician offices, as well as clinics including a primary care walk-in clinic, full service diagnostic imaging, orthopedics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, an onsite laboratory, and a pharmacy.
Specialty clinics include adult and pediatric asthma, cardiology, chronic diseases, diabetes, gastroenterology, otolaryngology, pulmonology and rheumatology. The women’s wellness clinic offers pre-natal care, mammography screening, gynecology services, physical exams and free pregnancy tests.
“For 112 years, as a safety-net hospital, St. Bernard has continued its mission of providing high quality, comprehensive health care,” adds Holland. “Each year, more than 80,000 patients seek services from our hospital,” he continues. “Our Ambulatory Care Center represents our continued and unwavering commitment to being the community’s source for trusted healthcare.”
Close to 350 people attended the ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, May 31st, which included a luncheon and tours of the new building. City officials and community leaders who participated in the celebration included the Archbishop of Chicago Blasé Cupich, Congressman Bobby Rush, Congressman Danny K. Davis, Alderman Willie Cochran (20th Ward), and Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele.