MOUNT PLEASANT — With construction of its future $42 million medical center underway, Ascension Wisconsin held a ceremonial groundbreaking Friday with remarks by some of the organization’s top executives.
Ascension broke ground in early January for the 72,000-square-foot Ascension Racine Medical Center that will be built at the northeast corner of Highway 20 and Renaissance Boulevard. That’s the site of the former Floortech building, which was razed, and of a residence that was acquired and also removed.
The 6.7-acre site is also directly east of the existing Ascension clinic at 10340 Washington Ave. The 20 employees at that clinic will move to the new medical center when it opens, which is expected in January 2020. In addition, the new medical center will create 100 new full- and part-time jobs, Ascension says.
An Ascension spokeswoman said plans for the existing, 11,000-square-foot clinic, after the new medical center opens, have not yet been determined.
The plans for the center include primary and specialty care, an imaging center, urgent care services, rehabilitation, occupational health and an ambulatory surgery center.
Ascension announced the project in August and said it was the first of several project announcements to be made in the following months. In total, the company says it will invest more than $100 million in the greater Racine area over the next 2½ years.
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Tracy Rogers, chief operating officer for Ascension Wisconsin, called the start of the new medical center “an important milestone” for the organization.
“As healthcare continues to change,” Rogers said, “we have to stay ahead of those changes to ensure that we’re doing what’s best for our patients, our clinicians and the communities that we serve.”
“Ascension’s goals are to provide value by reducing unnecessary costs, improving the quality of care, delivering an outstanding patient experience and, most importantly, improving the health of our communities,” she said.
Expanding primary care
“Offering multiple services in one location is going to provide convenience for our patients,” said Dr. Amrinder Singh. “For many, all their medical needs will be met here.
“I’m especially pleased about the expansion of primary care,” Singh continued. “With the primary care physician, our patients are better able to manage their chronic diseases, and we as providers are able to identify potential issues at an earlier stage, which can help prevent disease in the first place. We know patients who have a relationship with their providers tend to lead healthier lives. And that’s the goal of this medical center: to make the greater Racine community healthier.”
In addition to primary care, Singh said, the future center will offer specialty and urgent care, on-site laboratory and imaging services, pharmacy, rehabilitation, occupational health and outpatient surgery center.
During his remarks, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes said, “Healthcare has long been a priority of mine, it’s absolutely a priority of the (Gov. Tony Evers) administration. Any time that we can increase access is a good day.”
“As healthcare continues to change, we have to stay ahead of those changes to ensure that we’re doing what’s best for our patients, our clinicians and the communities that we serve.”
Tracy Rogers, chief operating officer for Ascension Wisconsin