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New $240 million Provident Hospital facility gets state approval

Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Chicago Tribune
by Lisa Schencker

A state review board has approved plans to build an eight-story, $240 million facility for Provident Hospital in Bronzeville.

The new hospital will sit immediately west of the current Provident Hospital, and will be 22% smaller than the existing building but offer some services not currently available at the hospital.

 

The Illinois Health Facilities & Services Review Board approved Cook County Health’s application to build the facility Tuesday. Construction is expected to be completed by April 2023.

The facility will have fewer beds for medical/surgical patients, dropping from 79 beds to 42, but it will have 70 outpatient exam rooms.

 

The hospital is downsizing partly in response to a national trend of fewer patients needing overnight care. Many patients head home after receiving specialty care or undergoing tests or procedures.

Cook County Health leaders hope the new facility will better serve Provident patients by offering expanded services, reducing the need for patients to go to Stroger Hospital. The new hospital will offer MRI imaging, bariatrics, orthopedics, dental and sports medicine, and its emergency department will offer more comprehensive care.

“Provident Hospital has served as a beacon of hope since it first opened in 1891 as an African-American hospital,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in a news release. “A new modern facility will allow CCH (Cook County Health) to help close the health equity gap by providing the community with high-quality health care close to where they live.”

Provident has a storied history in Chicago. The country’s first open-heart surgery was performed there by Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, an African American doctor. Provident also had the first nursing school for black women in Chicago. The hospital opened its current building in 1982.

The new hospital is expected to add as many as 90 new jobs when it’s fully operational. It will be paid for with patient revenue, not tax dollars, according to Cook County Health.

Cook County Health plans to demolish the old Provident Hospital once the new one is built.

 



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