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Aurora Health Care

MOUNT PLEASANT — Planning is still in the very early stage for the future hospital and medical campus that Advocate Aurora Health has announced it will build here, a top executive says.

The organization announced on May 25 its plans to build a hospital, two clinics and a medical office building on 96 acres near the northeast corner of Interstate 94 and Highway 20. Construction on the $250 million project is slated to begin late this year with an expected opening in 2021.

The future medical campus is still a proposal, pending Village of Mount Pleasant approvals.

Advocate Aurora Health, the organization formed by the merger this spring of Aurora Health Care and Advocate Health Care Network, said it chose the location for the future medical campus because the community is growing.

On Thursday, Dr. Jeff Bahr, a general internist with Advocate Aurora, chief Aurora Medical Group officer and president of the Aurora Health Care Medical Group, said the footprint of the future medical complex is still evolving, as is the plan for just what services will be offered.

“In terms of services,” a spokesman said, “the proposed hospital will include a full spectrum of emergency and inpatient services. We’ll have a large focus on primary care/family practice offerings to meet the everyday needs of patients, and we will also have specialty services. This list is still not final, but in the hospital setting would likely include general surgery.”

In its May 25 announcement, Dr. Nick Turkal, co-president and CEO of Advocate Aurora Health, said the organization is “building for the future of how consumers want to experience health, whether it be in an ambulatory setting, hospital or from (one’s phone).”

Bahr said the future Foxconn Technology Group campus in the village played a part in the organization’s decision to build a medical complex here, but was not the exclusive reason. “It impacts our growth estimate,” he said.

Regarding the building of two new medical clinics, he said: “We think it matches the growth of the community. We’re still developing what the needs will be.”

40 doctors, 100 nurses

Despite plans to build those new clinics, Advocate Aurora has said the two existing ones on Highway 20 will remain in use.

The new medical office building will be where the hospital’s doctors will have their offices and see patients, Bahr said. The vast majority will be Advocate Aurora employees, he said.

He estimated the hospital will require about 40 doctors. Those will not necessarily all be new hires, Bahr said.

“We have a pretty robust medical group,” he said. “Sometimes it’s deploying them differently.

“Where we do see the need to recruit, we have recruitment experts across Wisconsin and Illinois. We have a well-established recruitment process,” and physician leaders are involved in that process, Bahr said.

Sometimes physicians will relocate from within Advocate Aurora, he added.

According to Mary Beth Kingston, chief nursing officer for Advocate Aurora Health, an estimated 100 nursing positions will be a part of the project, though that number could change as plans evolve.

“We couldn’t be more excited” about the future project here, Bahr said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to bring advanced access to high-quality health care to a community that has been so loyal to Aurora Health Care for so long. This really keeps our fires lit.”

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Michael "Mick" Burke covers business and the Village of Sturtevant. He is the proud father of two daughters and owner of a fantastic, although rug-chewing, German shepherd dog.

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