BACKGROUND: Perry Memorial Hospital was established by ordinance of the City of Princeton in 1916, to fulfill the terms of a donation by Julia Rackley Perry for the benefit of community members in accordance with state laws enabling cities to establish and maintain public hospitals. By ordinance, the Mayor appoints and the City Council approves a seven-member Board of Directors who are responsible for the governance of the hospital and have exclusive control of all hospital funds, facilities, and hiring of the chief executive officer. The City of Princeton does not provide tax support for the hospital; however, the hospital makes an annual financial report to the City Council. A City ordinance is required for major changes impacting Perry Memorial Hospital. Therefore, Perry’s Board has been working with the City Council to provide education about opportunities for the future of health care, including a closer partnership with OSF HealthCare.
Princeton City Council educational sessions regarding the hospital’s strategic planning process were held in public meetings from March to May 2019, led by Annette Schnabel, DPT, MBA, FACHE, President & CEO Perry Memorial Hospital. The meetings were held with the public and media in attendance. These educational sessions were reported in the Bureau County Republican.
Information shared with the City Council covered Perry’s history, the changes in federal and state laws and the specific effect they have on rural hospitals. These included hospital closures throughout the state and the country. A review of the impact of an aging population and efforts by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies to shift financial risk to the hospitals were the primary issues discussed.
Additional discussions centered on Perry’s projected capital needs over the next 10 years. Considerations including replacement of the current heating and cooling system, a new roof, and other significant items that may total as much as $33 million. Updates have been completed in many areas within the hospital, such as the addition of the emergency department, improvements to registration, lab, radiology, surgical suites, outpatient procedure rooms, and updates to the third-floor clinic; however there remains some major infrastructure changes that are long overdue. Medical equipment is very expensive, and some of the current systems need replacement in that ten-year window such as the CT Scanner and the MRI.
The new Perry Family Health Clinic will provide a brand-new facility and much needed space to house primary care providers and provide easy access for patients. The prior clinic space on the third floor of the hospital will provide new shared space for the other Perry specialty providers such as general surgery and podiatry allowing operational efficiencies such as shared staff and services. The former Perry specialist space on the second floor will provide additional opportunities for more specialty services.
Princeton’s Mayor, Joel Quiram stated, “The City recognizes the need for quality health care for the citizens of Princeton and the three-county area served by Perry Memorial Hospital. Large industry and businesses search for quality health care as a key component when searching for a city or town to locate their business. The City’s primary goal for Princeton is slow, yet consistent, growth and the long-term sustainability of quality health care in town is a must for that to occur.”
Why OSF Healthcare has risen to the top of the selection process will be addressed in the next press release.
Annette Schnabel conducted research and discussion with four health care systems for potential partnership: Advocate, Genesis, Unity Point, and OSF HealthCare. Perry has been affiliated with OSF HealthCare for many years as OSF HealthCare provides specialty services and cares for critical patients. The main goal of both organizations is to keep quality health care local. Out of all of the patients who come to the emergency room at Perry Memorial Hospital, only five percent end up needing to be transferred out of the community for a higher level of care.
Community members may submit questions and help shape subsequent updates at perrymemorial.org/osfrelationshipquestions
# # #
About Perry Memorial Hospital:
Perry Memorial Hospital is a municipally owned, 25-bed critical access facility. With a workforce of more than 370 people, Perry Memorial is one of Bureau County’s largest employers. June 17, 2020 marks the hospital’s centennial celebration representing 100 years of providing health care services.
About OSF HealthCare:
OSF HealthCare is an integrated health system owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, headquartered in Peoria, Illinois. OSF HealthCare employs more than 23,600 Mission Partners (employees) in 147 locations, including 14 hospitals – 10 acute care, four critical access – and two colleges of nursing. Its physician network employs more than 1,500 primary care, specialist physicians, and advanced practice providers.