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OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony’s Health Center says a 12,000-square-foot rehab center will be built on the upper level of Alton Square Mall in the existing food court area, with construction expected to begin in the summer.

osfmall1The announcement was made Wednesday at an economic update luncheon hosted by the RiverBend Growth Association.

OSF HealthCare Regional Vice President of Finance Mat Hanley said, “We are expanding access to care for people closer to where they live and recreate and this investment is a continuation of the promise we made two years ago.”

The new location will include a new integrated pediatric gym, special adaptations for concussion rehab, generous space for lymphedema (fluid build-up) management, a more expansive gym with walking track, a specialized pelvic floor room, private treatment rooms and a conference room for public education about such issues as Parkinson’s disease, concussions and lymphedema.

The new site will relocate services currently offered at OSF Saint Clare’s Hospital. OSF HealthCare is working with mall owners, Georgia-based Hull Property Group to reconfigure space and provide an exterior entrance for rehab patients and families. Hull Group specializes in overhauling traditional shopping malls and bringing them back to life by creating community partnerships to add new uses and additional amenities beyond retail.

John Mulherin, vice president of government relations for the Hull Property Group said the company was “bullish” on the Alton area and the mall, noting that retail sales in the area have topped $500 million.

Hanley said OSF Saint Anthony’s is also dedicated to contributing to the economic growth in the community so the investment made sense. “We thought this investment was important and would support the vibrancy of the mall.”
The investment of up to $2 million dollars will accommodate occupational, physical, and speech therapy. It will also expand pediatric therapy to an enhanced environment where children with a variety of diagnoses can learn the skills they need through creative play in the new gym as well as through clinical therapy.

“Our multi-disciplinary team is dedicated to providing a family-centered approach, including home programming and parent education for newborns to young adults,” according to Frances Young, manager of OSF Saint Anthony’s Rehab Services. “We’re excited to have a new environment that will enhance every child’s experience and progress.”

If current demand for rehabilitation services continues as trends indicate, Young said an additional therapist could be added to the current team of 19 Mission Partners (employees) that offer support or direct therapy care.
The renovation will also include nearly 2,000 square feet of space dedicated to administrators and support staff for OSF Home Care including Hospice services. Since July of last year, five additional Mission Partners (employees) have been added to meet growing needs for Home Care

PHOTO: Twenty-year-old Cody Blacklock participates in OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony's Health Center's Concussion Rehab Clinic, as occupational therapist Carol Babcock assists.