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WJBD - Local News - Blessing and Dedication Ceremony Held for New Good Samaritan Regional Health Center

The ribbon cutting for the new Good Samaritan Hospital. The President and CEO of SSM Health Care and the President and CEO of Felician Services Sister Clarette Stryzewski share the large sissors while other hospital officials and Bishop Braxton help hold the ribbon.

Bishop Reverend Edward Braxton during the blessing ceremony for the new Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon.

Blessing and Dedication Ceremony Held for New Good Samaritan Regional Health Center

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

A Blessing and Dedication ceremony was held Monday for the new $237-million dollar Good Samaritan Regional Health Center.  The Bishop of the Belleville Diocese of the Catholic Church Edward Braxton completed the blessing.

"We are gathered this morning to ask God's Blessing and all those who will be patients here, all those who will be caring for the sick, that we ask for the divine blessing on this building, erected for the care of the sick, and so they will be truly dedicated to carrying out the ministry of Christ himself", said Braxton.  

The President of Good Samaritan Regional Health Center Michael Warren says the opening of the new hospital ends a dream that began with the purchase of the property in the 1990's.  

"We dreamed of a facility that was built from the ground up, with modern amendities, all private rooms and advanced services and healing and compasionate care that would be delivered in a manner that would be breathtaking.  We also wanted a health center that looked like home, with fireplaces and lounge areas, a soothing water wall, spiritual gardens to gaize upon and beautiful photographs and artwork throughout", said Warren.  

The President and CEO of the co-sponsoring Felician Services Sister Clarette Stryzewski not it was not the building, but the staff that would make the difference.  "The important thing to remember is that we are caring for people, and so it is the way in which we care for the people that makes the difference.  Wonderful bricks and mortor well designed, but you the people of this staff, physicians, nurses, this community is what is giving this building life", said Clarrette.  

The President and CEO of SSM Health Care William Thompson agreed with Sister Clarette.  "It's not the facility and it's not the advanced technology, it's the people who are here.  The physicians, nurses and other staff, the caregivers, from the dieticians to the housekeepers to everyone that contributes to the healing mission of Jesus Christ, that is what makes a hospital a truly healing place.  That is the true miracle of health care", said Thompson.  

The CEO of St. Mary's Good Samaritan Philip Gustafson said the facility was built and designed by people who truly care.  "Speaking for the staff, we are dedicating this facility to this community and to the mission that we live.  May it serve all of us for many decades.  Thanks to all of you and all of your support, this is truly a community treasure", said Gustafson.  

The President of the Medical Staff Dr. Anthony Vacca noted the facility that he was first promised when he came to Mt. Vernon eleven years ago was worth waiting for.  "We now have a state of the art facility that rivals any other hospital in the country, let alone in Illinois.  Our hospital is staffed by outstanding physicians in multiple and various specialties, supported by top notch services.  When I look to the future of Good Samaritan Regional Health Center, I must say I am excited about the possibilities", said Vacca.  

Mt. Vernon Mayor Mary Jane Chesley commended hospital officials on creating an outstanding ecstatic pleasing facility that will help move Mt. Vernon forward as a health care facility.  "It is my hope and the city council's hope that the future of health care services and jobs will continue coming to the city of Mt. Vernon.  We have sat one of our major economic developers in the health care field, and we will work hard to make Mt. Vernon a community where people will want to come to live, to work, to play and to receive quality health care", said Chesley.  

Ground was broke on the new facility in April 2010.  The five floor hospital holds 134 beds, eight observation beds, all private rooms and numerous patient safety features.  The hospital also provides greatly expanded emergency care services,an all-new Women's Center and Procedure Center.  The new facility is expected to accept patients on January 27th.  The existing Good Samaritan campus on North 12th Street in Mt. Vernon is being sold to Shores Builders of Centralia.  It will be demolished and returned to green-lots for potential development.   

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