Take a journey in time as we identify highlights and key points throughout the history of OSF Saint Elizabeth Medical Center.
A Hospital Begins
- The John Stuart Ryburn Memorial Hospital opened at 713 Clinton Street. The hospital was presented to Ottawa by Cecilia Ryburn, widow of Dr. Ryburn, in whose memory the hospital was erected.
- Solomon E. King left a bequest of $40,000 and a new section of the hospital was built on the corner of Madison and Clinton Streets. The original building was then converted to a nurses’ home--it was connected to the new section by a ramp. The new section was known as the King and City Annex.
- A new addition was built. It ran in front of the original Ryburn building and connected with the King and City Annex.
- During WWII the remains of the original 1895 Ryburn building was torn down and a new wing was built. The Nurses’ Home was moved to 717 Clinton Street when the hospital purchased the Leix property.
- During subsequent years, the Funk property at 723 Clinton and the former Bailey-Walsh Funeral Home at 729 Clinton were added to the Ryburn property.
- On December 7, a charter for a Not-for-Profit Corporation was filed.
- In January, the City of Ottawa transferred all of the Ryburn assets to the new Not-for-Profit Corporation.
- In early 1969, the Ottawa Silica Foundation presented the hospital with a deed to 30 acres of land as a building site.
- On March 25, the ground breaking ceremony for the new hospital building was held.
- The name of Ryburn Memorial Hospital was officially changed to the Community Hospital of Ottawa.
- On April 6, all patients were moved from the old hospital building and the new facility was opened at 1100 East Norris Drive.
- The new facility was accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals.
- An Outpatient Surgery Department and preadmission testing programs were started in response to a growing need of the community.
- On October 12, the revised Corporate Bylaws were approved by the Corporate Membership. These Bylaws changed the internal corporate structure to that of a typical corporation, with the officers of the Corporation being the Chairman, two Vice-Chairmen, Secretary and Treasurer. The President of the Corporation will be the Chief Executive Officer.
- Phyllis Leighton was elected the first Chairman of the Board. She is the first woman to serve in this position.
- A parcel of land valued at more than $80,000 was donated to CHO by Ottawa Silica Company. Located in the East Gate Subdivision, the lot lies adjacent to hospital land and is to be used for the construction of medically-related facilities.
- The Care-A-Van transportation service was implemented, run and staffed completely by volunteers.
- Announced a number of changes in the management team. Robert Chaffin was named Vice President of Finance in May and Robert Schmelter began his duties as President in September. They replaced Chuck Moss and Yale Wolk, respectively. Judy Christiansen, Vice President of Patient Services, acted as interim President.
- Purchased 5 lots in the Eastgate Subdivision for $110,000 from US Silica.
- The mental health and substance abuse services unit, formerly the Help Unit, changed its name to CHOICES which is the acronym for CHO Individual Counseling and Evaluation Services. The name change was for product identity and better reflected the changing environment in mental health services.
- CHO joined the area’s first stroke network which is coordinated by OSF HealthCare and OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria. The focus of the network is public education.
- The Hospital purchased a 32-acre tract of land across Norris Drive from Skymont Corporation for $320,000. The land begins at the Fox River and extends eastward to meet the parcel of land owned by Gladfelter’s Chapel. The purchase helps expand the Hospital’s options for further development.
- CHO Governing Board decides to add 13,000 square feet to Rehab Services. Celebrate Health presents first program.
- Rehabilitation Department expansion is completed and occupied.
- Completed the Expansion Project involving the GI Lab, Emergency Room, Pharmacy, Respiratory Therapy, Laboratory waiting, Conference Room, Surgical storage, Patient Accounting, and Volunteer Services.
- Robert Schmelter passed away after an extended illness in February. Robert Chaffin was named interim CEO until May when he was confirmed as the CEO.
- Contracted with Vissering Construction to build a 3 story, 33,000 sq. ft. building on hospital grounds to house financial and information services and two floors of physician offices.
- Completed the “1050” building in the spring and began occupying with newly recruited physicians – twin OB/Gyn’s, Urology, ENT and Family practice.
- Added full field digital mammography.
- In May, broke ground on 2,000 sq. ft. addition to radiology department, which will house a new MRI unit.
- In August, broke ground on 16,000 sq. ft. cancer center, a joint venture between the hospital, radiation oncologist Dr. Kevin Khater and Illinois Cancer Care.
- Began doing business as Ottawa Regional Hospital & Healthcare Center to communicate the types and levels of services now provided at the facility and to acknowledge the current service area, which extends beyond Ottawa.
- In August, the hospital partners with OSF Saint Francis in the Heart 7-7-7 program to provide fast and accurate care to patients experiencing a heart attack.
- Ottawa Regional adds third level to its parking deck adjacent to the 1050 Medical Office Building in October.
- Ottawa Regional breaks ground on new Outpatient Mental Health Building in November.
- Ottawa Regional begins construction on a two-level parking deck in front of the main hospital; implements shuttle service and valet parking.
- Ottawa Regional remodels medical/surgical patient rooms, giving the unit a hotel-like feel with wall sconces, flat screen TVs, carpeting and window treatments.
- On February 17th, Ottawa Regional closes on property on the Southside of Ottawa owned by Centrue Bank at 401 East McKinley Road.
- Emergency Department honored by OSF Saint Francis Heart Hospital for being among the hospitals in its Heart 7-7-7 Network that have good time for getting patient experiencing a heart attack to the cardiac catherization lab at OSF Saint Francis in Peoria. Of the hospitals in the network, Ottawa Regional is the farthest away.
- On July 21st, the hospital breaks ground on its Marseilles Medical Office building. The 4,400 sq. ft. building will house two primary care physicians. In August, the hospital’s Marseilles Medical Office Building while under construction is recognized as a Green Building of America Award-winning project.
- In September, main entrance with new canopy and upper level of parking deck opens. Upper level of parking deck has 106 spaces. In December, lower level of main hospital parking deck opens. The lower level has 80 spaces for a total of 186 parking spaces directly in front of the main hospital. There is also a designated area for physician parking only.
- On December 31st, closed on a deal to purchase the practice assets of the Ottawa Medical Center, forming a new, for-profit subsidiary of the hospital, Ottawa Regional Medical Center. The new primary group is the largest primary care physician group in LaSalle County.
- Ottawa Regional Medical Center opens new Marseilles facility.
- In July, new CHOICES outpatient mental health facility opens.
- In October, Ottawa Regional signs a letter of intent to explore the possibility of merging with OSF Healthcare System.
- The process of “due diligence” continues between Ottawa Regional and OSF HealthCare as both organizations seek to understand each other’s operations, facilities, policies, and procedures.
- In April, Express Care, a walk-in clinic for acute injuries and illnesses, opened at Ottawa Regional Medical Center.
- On January 19, a definitive agreement was signed that would eventually result in Ottawa Regional joining the OSF Healthcare System. The announcement comes after nearly 15 months of due diligence, a process described by the organizations as validating the benefits to the communities they serve. Before a change of ownership occurs Ottawa Regional’s corporate members must ratify the proposed arrangement and the organizations must receive approval from the Illinois Health Facilities & Services Review Board.
- On March 1, a planned integration of Ottawa Regional Hospital & Healthcare Center into OSF Healthcare System continues to progress after this evening’s special meeting of Corporate Members in Ottawa. The Members, consisting of individuals and organizations from surrounding communities, unanimously approved going forward with the proposed arrangement.
- On April 17, the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved the Certificate of Exemption application of OSF Healthcare System for a change of ownership of Ottawa Regional Hospital & Healthcare Center.
- On May 1, Ottawa Regional becomes integrated with OSF Healthcare System. Ottawa Regional adopts a Catholic identity and changes its name to OSF Saint Elizabeth Medical Center during a blessing and dedication ceremony officiated by the Most Reverend Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of the Peoria Diocese.
About OSF HealthCare
OSF HealthCare, owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, Peoria, Illinois, includes OSF Healthcare System consisting of eight acute care facilities, two long-term care facilities, and two colleges of nursing. It also has a primary care physician network consisting of over 600 primary care, specialist physicians, and advanced practice providers.
OSF HealthCare owns OSF Saint Francis, Inc., comprised of health care-related businesses, and OSF Healthcare Foundation, the philanthropic arm of OSF Healthcare System and OSF Home Care Services.
OSF HealthCare is a multi-state corporation, operating facilities in Illinois and Michigan, providing state-of-the-art, compassionate care to more than 2.5 million people in the communities we serve.
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