Posting in Cities
Would you go to your local hospital to get your shopping done? How about for a pick-up basketball game? Focal Point Community Campus wants to be a community hub -- but not just because it's a healthcare facility.
It seems safe to say that just about nobody likes a hospital. Sure, maternity wards are generally happy places, but those little bundles of joy are quickly overshadowed by the anxiety and grief that fills most rooms and hallways. But what if a hospital was built, from the ground up, to be a different kind of place? To be not just a dichotomy of emotional extremes, but an everyday fixture in a community's life?
That's the vision for Focal Point Community Campus, a multi-use healthcare facility being developed on Chicago's southwest side by Saint Anthony Ministries, the parent company of the city's St. Anthony Hospital. If it comes to fruition, the campus will be constructed on an 11-acre former trade school and will include retail space, eateries, sports fields, an Olympic-sized pool, education opportunities, arts and entertainment.
Members of the nearby communities, which include the Little Village, Pilsen, North Lawndale, Brighton Park, Back of the Yards and Archer Heights neighborhoods, would conceivably find themselves at Focal Point multiple times each week for many different reasons, but not because they're ill.
One of the focal points of Focal Point will be to address health through preventative health maintenance. The hope is that the community will take advantage of offerings such as parenting classes, diabetes education, recreation and wellness programs in order to keep individuals coming back to the campus all the time -- but not as a patient.
But the most novel element, perhaps, is the business model. “What makes this idea unique is that once this campus is built, the income from its for-profit elements will supplement the financial needs of the not-for-profit elements," said Guy Medaglia, Saint Anthony Ministries president and chief executive officer, in a statement.
He says this will be a "much-needed solution to deliver medical, education and other services to a community that continues to be under resourced.”
Basically, the rental income generated by retailers, day care, the parking garage and even outpatient clinic will be invested into healthcare programs. If this concept works, the new model could be replicated in hospitals -- or rather, community campuses -- in disadvantaged areas everywhere.
“For someone to have a shot at a healthy life, you have to be able to buy healthy food, feed your mind with education, nurture your creativity through the arts, have a place to send your kids to keep them off the streets, and have a job to support your family,” said Jim Sifuentes, vice president of mission and community development for Saint Anthony Hospital, in a statement.
But first, the place needs to be built. That could bring 2,100 much-needed jobs to Chicago, but it will also cost upwards of $250 million. Saint Anthony Ministries is seeking funding from the government, other public funding sources, as well as tax credits and other sources.
Images: Saint Anthony Ministries
Sep 11, 2012
While I think the article is good, and community involvement is also good - - there is so much more that hospitals could do IN THEIR FIELD of expertise instead of branching so far out. Stick to what you know and then improve on that. People need GOOD care and that's what concerns them the most in a hospital environment. There was a recent article in COnsumer Reports about hospitals with high incidents of staph infections and return visits to the hospital, and that report was far more interesting. ANother thing about some hospitals is that they are going bloodless during surgery. "Bloodless Surgery" Transfusion Alternatives" is where medicine is heading. See http://www.squidoo.com/blood-transfusion-alternatives
Unless all the extra stuff is paid for only by those who use it and the hospital gets the money, how can this improve actual care or reduce out of control costs?
Hospitals are meant to care for the sick , they are not community centres. There is already a battleground raging around super bugs - mixing retail, daycare and Cdif boggles the mind. Now imagine what that facility might look like in case of pandemic and how much more quickly contagions could spread in such a model. Hospitals have always been meant to be acute care facilities and separate from primary care needs. If we begin to go too far along the path of community and primary care then they will no longer be able to accept the very sick/contagious patients and will lose that role and then where do we go when we need that acute care? We cannot turn our hospitals into community centres - that was never the intent. If we want to develop primary care community based models then we should proceed with that but this is not the purpose of an acute care hospital.