MercyRockford announces $400 million plan for new medical campus

Chronicle Media
 Artists conception of the new MercyRockford Health Systems campus near the intersection of Interstate 90 and East Riverside Blvd.

Artists conception of the new MercyRockford Health Systems campus near the intersection of Interstate 90 and East Riverside Blvd.

MercyRockford Health System has announced a $400 million plan to create a new campus on 263 acres near Interstate 90 while also maintaining current facilities and services on North Rockton Ave.


The planned East Riverside Boulevard campus would serve as a convenient location for patients from both Rockford and surrounding areas and include a 188-bed facility, a new women’s and children’s hospital and other state-of-the-art services.


Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2016, with a projected opening in 2018.


“This is the largest project ever in Rockford’s history and represents a leap forward in quality facilities, community economic growth and easy access from a large regional area,” said Javon R. Bea, MercyRockford Health System President and CEO in last week’s announcement. “We are expanding existing services and keeping patients close to home, creating jobs, and bringing strong economic growth to the greater Rockford region.”


MercyRockford Health System was formed by the merger of Janesville, Wis.-based Mercy Health System and Rockford Health System last January.


Intensive care services would be centralized at the new campus, which would serve patients from within the greater Rockford area and for those traveling from a large regional area.


The women’s and children’s hospital on the new campus would feature with neonatal intensive care and other neonatal, maternity and pediatric services. A Level 1 trauma center is also planned, along with 10 operating suites and other inpatient and outpatient surgical services.


The medical system will also maintain its current campus on North Rockton Avenue and has touted its approach as creating one hospital on two campuses.


The Rockton Avenue campus will continue to provide a wide range of adult outpatient and inpatient care, concentrating services into facilities that have been recently renovated.


A $7 million state-of-the-art linear accelerator addition was opened at the Rockford Health System Cancer Center earlier this year and will continue to provide cancer care into the future. Similarly, recently renovated nursing units will continue to operate.


Other facilities on the North Rockton Avenue campus will be repurposed for other services, including community partnerships.


“We plan to make the former 200,000 square foot Rockford Clinic building on campus available to organizations that serve the community,” said Bea. “This is another way we will transform the campus while strengthening partnership and creating job opportunities in the neighborhood.”


Plans call for the 94-bed Rockton Avenue campus include a comprehensive emergency department, walk-in care clinic, surgical services, comprehensive cancer care and other inpatient and outpatient services.


“Our plans will provide tremendous economic development for the Rockford area,” said Bea. “This plan represents the best of all worlds, including a continued commitment to the existing campus and surrounding neighborhood, as well as investment in a second campus that will generate significant economic activity relating to employment, construction jobs, income, and retail sales in the community.”


As required by the State of Illinois, MercyRockford Health System is applying to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board for Certificate of Need approval for the plans.


MercyRockford anticipates that review by the board will be completed in November of this year and that construction will begin in late 2016.


— MercyRockford announces $400 million plan for new medical campus —