The medical landscape of Edmond may be changing if Henderson Hills Baptist Church partners with Integris Health to build a new hospital in Edmond.

Integris announced in a press release Thursday afternoon that a press conference is set for Monday to offer details of the planned 30- to 60-bed hospital. The proposed hospital will employ about 300 people with services including an emergency room, surgery suites, intensive care and a birthing center, according to Integris this morning.

Henderson Hills will vote on whether to sell land for the proposed hospital the weekend of Oct. 20-21. Integris has offered to purchase 24.5 acres from Henderson Hills and 20 more “contiguous” acres on the church’s north side, just northeast of Interstate 35 at 15th Street. The sale price is $5.3 million for the church’s land.

Integris Health CEO Stanley Hupfeld stated in the press release that the proposed hospital would have room to grow “as the need arises.”

“The City of Edmond has a grand vision for its future including increasing professional job opportunities and growing viable businesses,” Hupfeld said. “Integris is pleased with this opportunity to be part of their vision. This new venture will provide new jobs in the area as well as other economic enhancements.”

Meanwhile, Integris is not the only hospital provider interested in entering the Edmond community.

Mercy Health Systems of Oklahoma President and CEO Di Smalley told The Sun that Mercy knew that Integris was examining East Edmond. She emphasized that Mercy Health Center has strong ties with the Edmond community with its main campus at 4300 W. Memorial Road.

“Today we have a strong presence in Edmond,” Smalley said. “We’ve recently purchased an additional 25 acres in Edmond.” Mercy’s newly acquired property is on I-35, south of 15th Street on the west side, which would put it directly across the interstate from Integris’ proposed facility. Mercy is undergoing a strategic planning process to determine the best way to develop its property.

“By doing that we intend to increase our presence in Edmond,” Smalley said. “Edmond is very important to Mercy and will continue to be. We’re going to do our utmost to serve it.”

Community sees need

Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ken Moore said the chamber would welcome a new Integris hospital built in Edmond.

“Anytime a new business chooses to come to town, it speaks to the quality of life the community has to offer,” Moore told The Edmond Sun. He said access to medical services is critical for Edmond residents and for those deciding to move to the Edmond area.

“While Edmond is fortunate to have good medical services presently, having another choice is certainly not a bad thing,” Moore said.

The demographic mix of people moving to the east side of Edmond is a higher income level, said Joyce Clark, owner and CEO of Achievis Senior Living Associates. Senior adults have a need to be closer to medical facilities, she said.

“There’s a need there for medical care and a medical facility,” Clark said of the I-35 area, which is the geographic center of Edmond.

Edmond’s mayor greeted the announcement with enthusiasm.

“Certainly it’s great to have a new hospital in town,” Edmond Mayor Dan O’Neil told The Sun.

The hospital will be in an area needing a facility, if its development is approved by the Henderson Hills congregation.

“I’m not sure what the economic impact will be, but we think it will be fairly substantial as a result of this activity,” O’Neil said. “(The City Council is) looking forward to considering this application.”

Edmond Medical Center CEO Tayo Fichtl stated in a press release that EMC will continue its 60-year mission of providing quality health care and jobs in Edmond.

The proposed Integris hospital will be a mere 3 miles from EMC, which employs 550 people and cared for more than 60,000 patients in 2006.

EMC is a 94-bed acute-care facility with a fully staffed emergency department, heart cath lab, interventional radiology, cardiopulmonary care, intensive care, rehabilitative services, radiology, mammography, pain management, medical/surgical, hyperbarics/wound care and geropsychiatric unit.

“We are excited about our future and are focused on growing our services to meet the community’s needs,” Fichtl said.

Integris’ announcement of offering a birthing center in the new hospital would bring labor and delivery back to Edmond — something that had been missing since Renaissance Women’s Hospital closed in 2005. EMC had a labor and delivery unit until 1996 when an agreement with Renaissance transferred those services there.

Nearly a quarter of all infants born at Lakeside Women’s Hospital in Oklahoma City go home to Edmond. Lakeside delivered 143 Edmond babies from Jan. 1 through July. There were a total of 732 Edmond births at Mercy from June 2006 through May 2007. EMC facilitated an average of 35 deliveries a month until closing the unit in 1997, according to EMC.

Kim Swyden, executive pastor of Henderson Hills Baptist, stated the discussion with Integris “seemed right” after other groups had asked Henderson Hills about selling part of the church’s land.

“As we have dreamed about the use of our undeveloped lands we have always talked about leaving that to God’s vision, but certainly a hospital was always near the top of the list,” Swyden said in the press release. | 341-2121, ext. 114


What you need to know

The nonprofit Integris Health is Oklahoma’s largest Oklahoma-owned health care corporation and employs nearly 9,000 employees statewide. Integris Health owns 13 hospitals in the state.

Mercy Health Center’s hallmarks include a joint venture with Oklahoma Cardiovascular Associates at the Oklahoma Heart Hospital and the leading stroke program in this area, Smalley said.

Mercy clinics are part of a large health care system with its headquarters, Sisters of Mercy, based in St. Louis. Mercy Health Center is one of 20 hospitals owned by Sisters of Mercy Health System.

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