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Healthcare

Advocate

Last year, Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare (EMHC) provided care for over 20,000 inpatients and 360,000 outpatients. Elmhurst Memorial Hospital (EMH) also treated 43,000 people in its emergency room, performed 250 open-heart surgeries and delivered 2,000 babies. In addition, EMHC provided home health visits for 46,000 patients.

This year, the hospital will celebrate its 80th anniversary of providing quality healthcare for DuPage County. President and Chief Executive Officer Leo Fronza said that EMH has led the transformation of healthcare for the last 80 years.

EMH was the first acute care hospital in DuPage County. Fronza said, “Prior to that, area residents had to go to Oak Park for hospital care.”

Dr. Edward Marquardt, an Elmhurst resident and physician, together with other community leaders, led the creation and establishment of the hospital, When the hospital opened on October 10, 1926, it included two operating rooms, a nursery, a pediatrics department, an obstetrical department, laboratories, an x-ray department, and an emergency room. Dr. Marquardt also developed the hospital’s first mission, which was ‘to serve and be relevant to the healthcare needs of the community.’

“That was a defining moment in history,” said Fronza. “Today, our mission remains essentially the same—to enhance the health of the communities and customers we serve.”

hospital

Today, EMHC must continue to address the healthcare needs of the communities it serves. “Going forward, prevention, acute care services and the management of ongoing chronic diseases, all of which are needed by an aging population, will be important,” said Fronza. “We also must have the technology to support those services, and we must support the talented physicians and caregivers we have to provide those services,” continued Fronza.

Also, the cost to provide quality healthcare is much greater today. Many factors have contributed to this cost increase. Two significant factors are the Medicaid program, and Medicare, both initiated in the 1960s. Both programs underpay what hospitals provide. Medicare pays approximately 75 cents for every $1 spent by community hospitals. Medicaid pays only 50 cents for every $1. “This leaves a substantial gap to be filled by the private sector,” said Fronza.

Today, since 50 percent of EMH’s inpatients are on Medicare, the hospital must work to reduce the cost to provide care. “Over time, the Medicaid and Medicare programs changed the business model for hospitals,” said Fronza, “It’s important for community leaders and healthcare providers to work together to address this problem.”

Such work has begun and EMHC is now at a second defining moment in history. Fronza said, “EMHC has an opportunity to again transform the way healthcare is provided in DuPage County.”

EMHC’s new 42-acre integrated campus, scheduled for completion in 2010, will provide enhanced care for the community at a reduced cost over time. The campus also will incorporate leading edge technology to support expanded services, while providing more personal attention and care for inpatients.

EMHC Integrated Campus
The new campus will include the following:
• 325-bed hospital
• Outpatient services
• Physician offices
• State-of-the-art emergency department
• All private rooms
• Technologically advanced surgical suites
• Sophisticated infrastructure
• Ample parking

The campus will be located at the current Elmhurst Memorial Center for Health site near the corner of York and Roosevelt Roads.

“We believe that we can best serve the community’s healthcare needs by transforming how we address and deliver healthcare,” said Fronza. “We are excited about what this facility can mean for the future of healthcare in DuPage County.”

For information about EMHC’s new integrated campus, call Kyle Bauer at 630-993-5702.

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