Urbana hospital gets $3M in updates, new name

A Champaign County hospital will receive more than $3 million in changes as part as an effort to unify a large health care system that’s one of the biggest employers in Ohio.

Mercy Memorial Hospital in Urbana has been renamed Mercy Health-Urbana Hospital and is the latest health-care facility in Champaign County to make upgrades to its facilities.

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Memorial Health in Marysville is constructing a $9 million outpatient medical center that will have an urgent care, lab testing services, rotating physician specialists, expanded primary care and other services. And Mary Rutan Hospital, based in Bellefontaine, moved its Urbana clinic to a larger building in July 2016 to offer more services.

Mercy Health-Urbana Hospital also made earlier a $235,000 renovation to create a Chronic Care Clinic in a previously vacant wing there.

The goal of the upgrades at Mercy Health-Urbana is to provide a safe, quality hospital in the community, said Jamie Houseman, president of Mercy Health-Urbana Hospital.

The Urbana hospital has existed since 1951. It was time for a more modern name, Houseman said, that reflects its connection of Mercy Health, which is based in Cincinnati.

“It’s really symbolic as Mercy Health as one system. So that it’s very clear, wherever you’re at in Ohio and Kentucky, that we are a part of this large care with a Catholic base,” she said.

READ MORESpringfield’s biggest employer changing its name

The signs by the road will also be updated, Houseman said. The committee in charge and the community are still trying to decide on the final look.

Mercy Health-Urbana will also add new services, including robotic surgery.

“The robot allows a less invasive way of taking care of common surgery needs like appendectomies, hernia repairs, gall bladder, etc.,” Houseman said.

The hospital must first renovate the central sterile unit. It needs a huge face-lift, Houseman said, to sterilize the robot and its equipment. Those renovations should start later this year, with the plan of the robot being in the facility at the beginning of 2017.

Mercy Health-Urbana is also doing construction on a new geriatric psychiatric unit. Construction began in August.

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“It’s dedicated for those who are 55 and older with psychiatric needs and it’s a short-term therapeutic stay,” Houseman said.

A huge need exists for this type of facility, the president said, because no similar services exist in Clark and Champaign counties.

“The closest place where we can send people is Sidney, Blue Ash, Columbus, Dayton, between the two counties we send a lot of people out of town for this level of care,” Houseman said.

The average stay will be 10 to 14 days and will house seniors. It will be a 10-bed unit for now and should open this December.

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The Urbana medical center also has expanded its MRI availability from two days to four days a week.

It’s also in the midst of some cosmetic changes.

“We did a mini-face-lift with new flooring, new paint and new artwork, freshen up the look to be more modern,” Houseman said.

The same improvements will be made to the Emergency Department and Same-Day Surgery unit.

All of the changes should be complete in about 18 months.

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