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Chester Rotary gets lowdown on hospital's $7 million upgrade

  • The Chester Rotary Club met with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bret Miller, left, and Brett Bollmann, CEO of Memorial Hospital.

    The Chester Rotary Club met with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bret Miller, left, and Brett Bollmann, CEO of Memorial Hospital.
    Gwendy Garner photo

By Gwendy Garner
Contributing writer
updated: 1/23/2019 2:30 PM

The Chester Rotary held its weekly lunch meeting on Jan. 9 at Memorial Hospital in Chester. Rotarian and hospital CEO Brett Bollmann met the group in the newly-renovated front lobby, which now provides convenient access to the public and registration areas with improved patient confidentiality.

After a tour of renovated areas on the main floor of the building, the group enjoyed lunch in the hospital's conference room. Bollmann, using a power point presentation of the building's current upstairs and downstairs footprint, showed where renovations have taken place and areas where renovation will continue.

The full renovation is expected to cost approximately $7 million and will include a total of five phases. The work is currently in the second and third phases. According to Bollmann, many of the departments in the hospital will be relocated and some of those relocations are already taking place.

A major change will be the relocation of the hospital's medical-surgical inpatient area. Now located on the east-west hallway, it will be moved to the hospital's south hallway. In addition, much infrastructure work is being done, to bring utilities such as heating, cooling and plumbing up to date.

All work will be done using the original current footprint of the building, with the exception of a new state-of-the-art double elevator that is currently being constructed at the rear of the building.

In addition, Bollmann discussed the many inpatient and outpatient services of the hospital and elaborated on Memorial's extensive list of medical specialties, which are provided by specialists who come to the hospital weekly, bimonthly or monthly from St. Louis, Belleville, Carbondale and Cape Girardeau.

Memorial Hospital, at 1900 State St., opened in October 1962. It is currently a 25-bed Critical Access hospital, a member of the Illinois Critical Access Network and is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospital Organizations.

Bollmann said Memorial is able to take on such a large renovation without raising additional tax dollars, because previous hospital administrations and boards were fiscally conservative.