Illinois Community

HSHS St. John’s Will Compete with Memorial on Level 1 Trauma Services

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
01/13/15  11:08 PM PST
Rival hospitals

By Dean Olsen for The State Journal-Register

HSHS St. John’s Hospital has recruited six general surgeons from elsewhere in the state and nation to launch a Level 1 trauma program Thursday that will compete head-on with Memorial Medical Center’s trauma program only a few blocks away.

“Sometimes, competition is good for the community,” St. John’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Charles Lucore told The State Journal-Register on Tuesday. “My feeling is this community will be well-served by both hospitals.”

St. John’s received certification this week from the Illinois Department of Public Health to operate as a Level 1 provider in 2015, serving victims of crimes, accidents and other serious injuries from an 18-county region and beyond.

The fact that both of Springfield’s not-for-profit hospitals plan to offer Level 1 services in the new year and every year after that will be a change, as well as a departure from views expressed by both hospitals in the past that having just one Level 1 program avoided a potential unnecessary duplication of services locally.

In an arrangement that had been unique statewide, 500-bed Memorial and 439-bed St. John’s had agreed since 1999 to trade off with the Level 1 designation, with each hospital operating as a Level 2 trauma facility while the other was the Level 1 provider.

Under that arrangement, the trauma surgeons — specially trained general surgeons — were provided by Springfield’s Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. Those surgeons moved their home base annually, most recently on Jan. 1.


Read the Full Article at The State Journal-Register.