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New Health Center Proposed for Humboldt and North

by Jan Christensen

Columbia-St. Mary’s has proposed a new Family Health Center (FHC) for the vacant portion of the Jewel-Osco complex on the southeast corner of Humboldt and North Avenue. A project description was presented to the Riverwest Neighborhood Association (RNA) at its August 20 meeting by Paul Westrick, Columbia-St. Mary’s Vice President for Strategic Planning. The proposed Center will occupy the entire vacant space of about 21,000 square feet. It will be a family practice clinic and will also provide educational training for family practice residents and students. According to the written proposal, “The FHC will…be a doctor’s office that provides state-of-the-art ambulatory care. The specific services offered to our patients are: lab and x-ray; prenatal and infant care; care of the pediatric, adolescent and young adult; care of the elderly patient; minor surgical procedures; acupuncture and immunizations.” In addition, the proposal states, “The FHC will be the focal point of the Columbia-St. Mary’s Family Practice Residency Program by providing the perfect environment for residents to learn how to deliver excellent ambulatory care to the whole family.” The existing building will be minimally altered from the exterior to create one main entrance for patients on North Ave., with other entrances for employees and deliveries. The North Ave. entrance will be easily accessible from the adjacent parking lot, or from nearby bus stops on both North and Humboldt Avenues. Plans also call for the possibility of patients being dropped off directly in front of the entrance on North Ave. A parking lot of 43 stalls exists immediately to the east of the space, with access from North Ave. Additional parking should be available in the lower lot with access from Commerce St. The City is also considering the addition of parking spaces along North Ave. immediately in front of the FHC. The FHC plans to have 29 full-time employees, 13 part-time employees, 10 full-time faculty and 20 resident physicians. The Center will be open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Public hearings are planned as the FHC proposal goes through the city process. It will be before the City Planning Commission on Sept. 9 at 1:30 p.m. at 809 N. Broadway, First Floor Conference Room #104; the Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee on Sept. 17 at 9 a.m. in City Hall, Rm. 301 B; and the Common Council on Sept. 24 at 9 a.m. in City Hall, Common Council Chambers. Riverwest Currents – Volume 1 – Issue 8 – September 2002
by Jan Christensen