JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- Just when it looked like the bad economy would halt construction plans -- St. Mary's and Dean Health announced Thursday -- they are moving forward with a new hospital and clinic in Janesville.
Hospital officials peered out over the barren, 50-acre field, and imagined the possibilities.
"I'm feeling anticipation and joy," said Mark McDade, physician leader of the Janesville Medical Campus. "I can't wait to get started for real, and see this lot turn into a beautiful new hospital."
The $150 million campus will feature an emergency department, and at least 16 inpatient services from cardiology to vascular surgery.
More than 344 people will work here -- from doctors to medical assistants. For UW-Rock County's upcoming nursing degree program, it could mean skyrocketing interest.
"I'm afraid it's going to blow the lid off," said Diane Pillard, UW-Rock dean.
More than 150 students have already shown interest in the program. A new hospital could serve as a career catalyst. Regional doctors have expressed their excitement about the project, too.
"You can see their eyes light up at the opportunity to work at a brand new facility," McDade said. "It's going to be state of the art, the latest in terms of electronic records, patient processes to make patient care the absolute best."
And it could give a struggling city and chance for economic renewal.
"I think this is the bright spot," Pillard said. "This could be the turning point for this county to expand to different areas. The health care field is growing, and to be able to attract a hospital of this size to join Mercy Hospital and Beloit Hospital speaks very highly of this community."
UW-Rock is working to finalize the details on the upcoming nursing degree program.
It's a three way partnership between UW-Rock County, Blackhawk Technical College, and UW-Oshkosh.
Pillard hopes to have the program finalized sometime this summer.
The goal is to offer a program -- where students can graduate from Rock County with a bachelor's degree in nursing.
Construction on the new hospital and clinic will start in October. It scheduled to open in 2011.
E-mail Jeff Angileri - firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Mary's: http://www.ssmhcwi.com/internet/home/ssmhcwi.nsf