Mary Rutan Hospital has plans to build a new facility that would include an urgent care location in Bellefontaine.
The hospital purchased 11.5 acres of land at the intersection of U.S. 68 and U.S. 33 for $725,000, according to sale documents.
“We’re trying to continue to keep health care local as best we can,” said Mandy Goble, President and CEO of the hospital.
This announcement is the latest in a list of recent expansions by the hospital, which in May opened a clinic in Urbana.
The land the hospital purchased was home to the old Holiday Inn, which was razed in 2014.
Detailed plans for the site are being developed, Goble said, but will include an urgent care and other possible services such as physician clinic space, chronic care clinics and wellness services.
Some people leaving the hospital Thursday said an urgent care is desperately needed in the area.
“The only place (some people) can come is the ER because their doctors are either booked or they want them to schedule ahead of time,” said Tabitha Laird, who was at the hospital for a prenatal check-up.
The number of outpatient care cases is growing, Goble said, and the hospital is responding to the needs of the community.
Mary Rutan will also open a clinic at the Palmer Avenue hospital later this year, she added.
“But we know we don’t have the space and the ability to serve large populations, so the next step will be opening a brand new unit on (the new) property,” Goble said.
Robert Detrick of Bellefontaine and his family have traveled as far as Dayton to go to an urgent care.
“We need a place like that, and the quicker the better as far as I’m concerned,” he said.
The location at the intersection of two major routes will allow Mary Rutan to reach more patients in its target area, Goble said.
With limited expansion possibilities at the main hospital site on Palmer Avenue, the property provides easy access to U.S. 33 and will serve as a convenient location for the community.
The hospital will also work with local government and the Chamber of Commerce to discuss additional retail sites that could be part of the development.