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Surgical hospital creates 250 jobs, medical hub in Springfield

The $15 million Ohio Valley Surgical Hospital has created about 250 jobs since it opened in June 2009, part of a growing hub of downtown medical employers.

The physician-owned, 50,000-square-foot hospital at 100 W. Main St., formerly known as Ohio Valley Medical Center, will mark its five-year anniversary this week — and it could grow even larger in the future.

Four new downtown health care facilities have opened in recent years: Ohio Valley and its $5 million medical office building, the $275 million Springfield Regional Medical Center, the $10 million Mental Health Services facility and the $10 million Springfield Regional Cancer Center.

The surgical hospital has had the exact effect the city was hoping for, bringing people and jobs downtown, City Manager Jim Bodenmiller said.

“Between OVSH and the positive changes we’re seeing at Springfield Regional Medical Center, the health care environment is just much better than it was 10 years ago,” Bodenmiller said.

The downtown surgeons hospital was redeveloped as a brownfield site at the former Greenawalt-Trenor facility on West Main Street.

The physicians are happy to be downtown, Ohio Valley President Steve Eisentrager said, despite some initial concerns about where the hospital should be located.

“(The surgeons) felt they could make a positive impact with autonomy and having their own hospital,” Eisentrager said. “The results have been really spectacular.”

The health care developments have bred other developments, such as the NTPRD Chiller ice arena and the soon-to-be renovated United Senior Services building at the current Eagles on West Main Street.

“If you look out the windows, you’re seeing kind of hope reborn,” Eisentrager said. “There’s development popping up all around us.”

The surgical hospital has elevated quality of care, created jobs and tax revenue and sparked other downtown development, said Dr. Rick Nedelman, one of the hospital’s original 37 investors.

“I can’t believe it’s been five years,” he said.

In 2012, the surgical hospital opened a $5 million medical office building, 140 W. Main St., which houses imaging, physical therapy and pre-admission testing. About 15 Ohio Valley administrative positions recently moved off site to 72 and 74 W. Main St. to make room for a breast center at the medical office building.

There are no immediate plans to build a new building, but with space remaining on their four-acre downtown lot, Eisentrager said an expansion is possible within the next three to five years.

“We’re getting close to capacity for both buildings,” he said.

Health care reform has had a big impact on the medical community and will slow expansion plans across the country, Eisentrager said.

“We’re going to wait and see the impact,” he said.

While the relationship between Ohio Valley and Springfield Regional was contentious at first, they’re collaborating more now than they have in the past, said Paul Hiltz, CEO of Community Mercy Health Partners.

He described their relationship as excellent. Springfield Regional opened down the street from Ohio Valley in November 2011.

“We both share a common goal and that’s to provide excellent care for Springfield and surrounding areas,” Hiltz said. “We try not to compete, but we try to inspire each other to do better. We’re always striving to do excellent things here and I know they are, too. A lot of that we can collaborate on.”

The No. 1 priority should be to take care of the patients’ needs, Nedelman said. The competition between the facilities is no longer an issue, he said.

“It doesn’t take up any of our time or energies at Ohio Valley at all,” he said.

The goal for Ohio Valley has been to provide a retail-type setting where the customer expects a certain level of customer service and quality care at an affordable price, Eisentrager said.

They’ve also sought to bring patients and health care professionals who travel for care or work to remain in the community. The hospital has grown from 12 nurses in 2009 to approximately 250 employees as it expanded services, Eisentrager said.

“We’ve been working very quietly on building that reputation,” he said, “but many people who go to Dayton or Columbus for care don’t realize what we have here.”

The surgical hospital provides in-patient and outpatient surgical care in areas such as anesthesia; ear, nose and throat; gastroenterology; general surgery; gynecology; ophthalmology; orthopaedic surgery; plastic surgery; urology; and spine surgery.

Ohio Valley has received high marks from patient surveys. Approximately 82 percent of patients reported they would definitely recommend the hospital, according to Medicare’s Hospital Compare scores.

Last year, the hospital changed its name from Ohio Valley Medical Center to Ohio Valley Surgical Hospital to sharpen its branding and highlight its services.

“We wanted to clarify the surgical hospital part, that we have in-patient care and the level of surgery is very high,” Eisentrager said.

There are more than enough patients in Springfield to go around, Hiltz said. Springfield Regional’s surgical volumes are up 31 percent over the past two years and SRMC also set a record for emergency room visits in one day with 276 patients last Tuesday.

“What we’re all trying to do is provide excellent care for people so they don’t have to leave this community,” Hiltz said. “That’s what’s exciting. With health care reform, it’s going to call on all of us to look at innovative ways to collaborate and improve at the same time.”

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