Clark State, Mercy partner on new clinic to serve campus, community

Clark State Community College and Mercy Health-Springfield are working on a proposal to build a new medical center on campus that also would serve community members, along with faculty and students.

The clinic, which would open in spring of 2019, would provide services in an area of Springfield that’s medically under-served, Clark State President Jo Alice Blondin said. Mercy would own and operate the clinic within the Applied Science Center, which will be staffed by an on-site nurse practitioner.

MORE: New $9M Urbana health center to open this spring

“Clark State is walkable for a lot of people,” Blondin said. “Think about Leffel Lane and that corridor with all those businesses and all the needs they might have for their workforce. Whether it’s physicals or drug screenings or any of the workforce needs they might have, this would be really convenient to those businesses on this side of town.”

Clark State has an existing clinic on campus for staff and students, she said, but it’s small and mostly provides basic services like immunizations. The proposed clinic would be much larger and provide a wider list of services for patients.

RELATED: Springfield, Urbana hospitals scramble to cope with IV bag shortage

Clark State’s board of trustees voted last week to sign a letter of intent with Mercy to begin contract discussions for the project. During contract negotiations, Clark State leaders also plan to gather input from Springfield residents and businesses about the kinds of services the new facility should offer.

It also could improve health outcomes for local residents, Blondin said. Springfield was named the least healthy city in Ohio just a few years ago by a national website and since then Clark County leaders have worked to shed that image.

That site,, based its assessment on the local economy and the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, national health surveys conducted annually by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

MORE BUSINESS NEWS: What’s next for downtown Springfield? Nonprofit weighs options

“Springfield and our region has an opportunity to improve its health-care outcomes, which in turn will improve its workforce,” Blondin said. “A year ago we were involved in our master planning process as a campus, looking at our facilities and our services. I felt like the Applied Science Center should be opened up to the community as a resource rather than utilizing solely for classes.”

Clark State employs about 235 full-time employees with an additional 400 adjunct and/or contract employees. It has about 9,000 students annually.

Mercy Health, Springfield’s largest employer, announced plans last week to merge with Bon Secours Health System, an East Coast nonprofit Catholic health system. Blondin said that deal should have no impact on Clark State’s planned clinic.

The proposed clinic would also be in line with Mercy’s mission, said Matt Caldwell, CEO of Mercy Health-Springfield in a statement.

“A key part of our mission is to provide care to the under-served,” Caldwell said. “The location of this clinic ensures that students, faculty, staff and residents of the south side of Springfield will have access to important primary care services where previously there were none.”

DETAILS: Springfield officials want this new program to help seniors be healthy

The proposed clinic would also provide other benefits, including offering new opportunities for students to gain job skills through clinical experiences and internships.

Clark State’s existing clinic, on the second floor of the Applied Sciences building, is about 1,200 square feet, Blondin said. Somewhere between 1,900 to 2,800 square feet will be available for more services and renovations for the new clinic, and the size of the facility will be determined during negotiations.

“It’s an opportunity for Clark State to be a problem-solver in the community,” Blondin said. “Our mission is to develop the workforce and educate everybody but we also want to be sure we’re solving problems in the community. We think health-care is an issue that is critical to developing a strong workforce.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Immigration: Babies and children held in 'tender age' shelters according to report (live updates)
Immigration: Babies and children held in 'tender age' shelters according to report (live updates)

Top Republicans responded Tuesday to the Trump administration’s hard-line immigration policy of separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border, a “zero tolerance” policy implemented six weeks ago. Many Republicans responded publicly to the harsh criticism over the policy, saying they support keeping migrant children and parents...
Opinion: Why only answer is to break up biggest Wall Street banks

Federal bank regulators are proposing to allow Wall Street more freedom to make riskier bets with federally insured bank deposits — such as the money in your checking and savings accounts. Watch your wallets. The new proposal waters down the so-called “Volcker Rule” (named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who proposed...
Why leaving a water bottle in your car could be dangerous
Why leaving a water bottle in your car could be dangerous

On scorching summer days, taking a nice cold bottle of water for your drive seems like a natural fit. But it could lead to startling consequences, firefighters say. >> Read more trending news One Oklahoma fire department and a power company in Idaho recently demonstrated how a partly filled water bottle could magnify the sun’s rays and...
Mom warns of sunless heatstroke after toddler almost doesn't wake up from nap
Mom warns of sunless heatstroke after toddler almost doesn't wake up from nap

A Canadian mother is warning other parents about the dangers of indoor heatstroke after her daughter endured a frightening ordeal. Jennifer Abma of Edmonton, Alberta, told "Today" that she was keeping her daughters inside when a heatwave hit their town. Her 3-year-old daughter, Anastasia, went upstairs to take a nap a few weeks...
Active ingredient in sunscreen could cause cancer
Active ingredient in sunscreen could cause cancer

There's a health warning about a chemical found in most sunscreens. A new study found that when that chemical comes into contact with sun and chlorine, it can become toxic. If you flip over your sunscreen, chances are avobenzone is first ingredient you'll find. In fact, Boston's WFXT went into a couple of drug stores and found the vast majority...
More Stories