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Projects for county hospitals

PRINCETON/SPRING VALLEY — Two Bureau County hospitals are among 13 hospitals across North Central Illinois to receive grants through the Illinois Jobs Now! program.

Late last week, Gov. Pat Quinn announced $3.4 million in investments to area hospitals as part of the $24.3 million in the Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program designated to address critical needs of downstate healthcare institutions.

“It is crucial that hospitals have the most up-to-date facilities and equipment to deal with the health care needs of Illinois residents,” Quinn said. “These grants will help area hospitals provide better service to their patients.”

As announced by Quinn, Perry Memorial Hospital in Princeton will receive $185,007 for an electronic medical record system, and St. Margaret’s Hospital in Spring Valley will receive $200,150 to renovate the hospital pharmacy.

On Friday, St. Margaret’s Hospital’s Vice President of Marketing Linda Burt said the grant money announced last week by Quinn is actually part of a $400,000 capital improvement grant for which the hospital was approved quite a while ago. The $200,150 is the second part of that total grant and has not yet been received, she said.

The grant awarded to St. Margaret’s Hospital has allowed the hospital to relocate its pharmacy, expanding its space and also to install a pneumatic tube system which improves efficiency and gets the medicines to the right place much quicker. The improvement also creates a better work flow within the pharmacy, she said.

Perry Memorial Hospital President/CEO Rex Conger said Perry Memorial Hospital was originally awarded $370,000 in the state grant program with 50 percent of that money received in June 2012. Like St. Margaret’s, the recently announced money, $185,007, is the second portion of the original grant money.

Perry Memorial Hospital has used the grant money on technology improvements, including creating wireless access points in the hospital and medical office building, upgrades to computers and software, and wiring and video upgrades.

Those upgrades were purchased and are currently in use, Conger said. The grant money did not completely cover the costs of the $506,000 project, with the rest of the money coming from the hospital’s operating fund, he said.

Among the other area hospitals receiving notification of their grant money was Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru, $228,545 for a new CT scanner; Mendota Community Hospital, $174,400 for technology upgrades; Methodist Medical Center in Peoria, $496,030 for a new linear accelerator; and OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, $833,485 to create a surgical holding area.

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