On August 29th and 20th, Saint Anthony Hospital along with several of its global partners held informational and programming sessions with residents from the communities we serve, community leaders, business leaders and elected officials. The meeting also provided specifics around the Focal Point Community Campus, the new location for a state-of-the-future Saint Anthony Hospital.
Mr. Guy A. Medaglia, President and CEO for Saint Anthony Hospital and CEO for the developer Chicago Southwest Development Corporation (CSDC), also a 501 (c)(3), was quoted as saying, “despite any rumors that had circulated throughout the city or state that the new Saint Anthony Hospital and Focal Point campus would never be built, today CSDC is working with financial institutions in New York, Boston and overseas as this first-of-its-kind mixed-use development is generating much interest well beyond the city of Chicago.” The Focal Point Community Campus, which has been designed with years of community input as well as a sustainability plan for its long-term success, will serve as a gamechanger and national model to meet the health and wellness needs of marginalized communities everywhere.
1. What is the strategy around using the economic engine of bringing Focal Point to fruition to procure goods, services both professional and construction from local vendors and local professionals? This is an amazing project that can be an investment from the ground up.
The project team is committed to hiring from the community for construction jobs and other services for the project. This is a major priority for the project and will be closely managed through collaboration with local partners and stakeholders. This will be an ongoing effort before construction, during construction, and once the campus is up and running. For every project task, including but not limited to demolition, environmental remediation, security, site maintenance, and design, the project team is prioritizing MBE and WBE participation, and local workforce participation.
2. Great to hear that Saint Anthony will be a larger employer even with the integration of new tech to improve efficiency. Do you anticipate the staffing mix to change (e.g., more clinical staff and less non clinical?)
The technology being explored for the new hospital is focused on supporting staff, allowing them to focus more on their clinical and non-clinical areas, leading to improved efficiency and productivity. The expectation is that the roughly 1,000-person workforce will actually grow. The staffing mix will mirror the current state.
3. Do you anticipate a change in the communities/geographies you serve?
No. By moving about a mile and a half south of its current location, Saint Anthony Hospital will still serve the same communities it does now, and with the same fervor and dedication. The several clinics throughout the community will also remain open.
4. What new health care services/specialties do you anticipate serving?
Hospital leadership is exploring some new potential service lines, based on community need and market demand. One of the areas being explored is the addition of a Cath Lab, which is an examination room with diagnostic equipment, where minimally invasive tests and procedures are performed to diagnose and treat, for example, cardiovascular diseases. Some of the tests and procedures include ablations, angiograms, angioplasties, pacemaker implants, and more.
5. How will you select the CBOs and other provides for the day care, educational services, etc.?
The project team has been meeting with and will continue to meet with community partners and leaders in early childhood development, day care, entrepreneurship training, and education, to best understand community needs, and to establish the best fit on the campus. Gathering public input on community needs and wants has been the focus since project inception.
6. I like the idea of open space for the community. Open space for children to play and shopping opportunities with coffee shops. It is what our community needs.
7. Is there an outpatient clinic so that patients don’t have to go into the ER?
Yes, the project will include a medical office building with outpatient service offerings, as well as an outpatient surgical center. The focus is on adapting to the latest trends in health care, which has been moving more towards outpatient care.
8. Will the new campus increase availability of/access to primary care for patients of all ages?
As the hospital relocates away from the Illinois Medical District, it will move closer to a part of the city lacking in health care access. The new campus will bring a state-of-the-art health care facility focused on providing quality care to patients of all ages.
9. What will happen with the current SAH site?
Hospital leadership is having conversations with potential new users of the existing building. Some of the areas of interest include senior housing and assisted living, given the suitable location at the southern end of Douglas Park and close to the CTA Pink Line. There are other organizations interested in using the current building, and those are all being explored.
10. Could you please provide more information on the affordable housing plans?
The housing component is being studied. The project team is assessing market trends so that it can validate the local need, type, size, and price point of the units offered on the campus.As always, the community will be involved in this process.
13. What will the theater look like? Outdoor performing spaces?
HDR Architecture is designing the outdoor amphitheater space, and like everything else on the campus, it will be based on community needs and input. The incorporation of the amphitheater on the campus comes from input already received, that the community would benefit from more gathering spaces, bringing people together for entertainment, recreation, and interaction. Having a place for family-oriented entertainment, picnics, movie nights, theatrical performances, storytelling, concerts, and other performing arts, is critical for the campus, as it is the people who will bring the campus to life.
14. Inclusive of the hospital, how many new jobs will the Focal Point Campus bring? Projected?
The projections are for 3,500 jobs in constructions, up to 500 jobs in retail, up to 1,100 health care jobs (inclusive of the 1,000 current jobs at Saint Anthony Hospital), and 300+ jobs in education and community programming. We anticipate approximately 1.8 million projected labor hours to complete the project.
There are other opportunities in workforce development and entrepreneurship (incubator and/or accelerator programming), which will also lead to the creation of jobs in both the trades and non-trades. It is important to provide more opportunities for people to earn living wages, at a minimum, and have exposure to other career paths.
15. What is the current funding breakdown from federal, state, county, city govt. entities?
To move this project forward, the focus has been on negotiating loan terms with multiple lenders. Because government funding is a political process, and there is no certainty on how much support the project team can rely on, the focus is currently on the private sector, which has been receptive and positive. Focal Point applies a unique financial model, and with a solid financial commitment from the federal, state and city governments, that model can be self-sustaining, and can generate and recirculate money back into organizations in the service area.If the federal, state and city governments truly want to support and invest in communities of color which have been systematically disenfranchised, they would make an official commitment of their collective support to realize the full potential of the Focal Point Campus. The less money the project borrows, the more it can reinvest back into the community.
16. What is the targeted amount of $ to raise in the category of philanthropic support only?
Our targeted goal is $200 million, however, if we raise less, we will increase the loan amount.
17. Is public transit involved for greater access and safety? Reach out to CTA to bring electric buses to the routes that services 31st/35thSt and Kedzie routes.
Yes, transportation and access are critical for the success of the campus. Conversations are being had with the CTA on how to improve access on the 31stStreet and S. Kedzie Avenue bus lines, how to improve the connections to existing L lines and Metra stations, and how to improve connections within the community through shuttles, among other options. Planning for how people access and use the campus is key for ensuring a safe experience. Working with the CTA to bring electric buses is a great idea, especially given the poor air quality conditions within the immediate area. The project team is also seeking to provide electric car charging stations on the campus and exploring carsharing potential.
18. While diverse, have more photos in presentation representative of those projected to be served.
We agree and will work with the design team going forward to make sure that happens. It is important for our community to see themselves on our campus.
19. Will contractors and subcontractors be union and/or prevailing wage?
Yes, the contractors and subcontractor will be union and will offer a prevailing wage.
20. What educational programs will be part of the campus?
We cannot disclose the exact programs with you at this time, as they are part of ongoing dialogs, the focus is on providing early childhood development programs (which include education and school readiness), entrepreneurship support programs, and post-secondary, higher-level education to bridge students from high school to their careers.
21. The benefits of this project are evident and plenty. No doubt! What are the potential detriments that must be spoken honestly? How would a project like this inversely impact the immediate community and change life in Little Village?
22. How much funding has been secured to date? How much is left to fundraise?
We acquired the final 11-acre parcel, received approval from the City’s department of Planning and Development, and approval from City Council in May. To date, we have secured $60 million, none of which comes from commercial lenders. With all land now under ownership and control, there is strong momentum.
23. What is the plan to increase staff? Partnering up with a school to help people become nurses, CNAs? Homegrown staff! How will St. Anthony work with relevant partners to recruit, train, develop the next generation of Brown and Black talent for the medical field and hospital administrators?
Yes, the goal is to continue and build upon existing partnerships with organizations that are focused on the trades, nursing schools, and other community partners to train and place homegrown talent within the hospital. There is staffing potential in all clinical areas, and other support areas for the hospital like telecommunications, IT, medical records, registration, finance, human resources, environmental services, dietary and food service, security, maintenance, facilities management, administration, and more.
24. Traffic control on 31stand Kedzie. Widening of Kedzie?
As part of the redevelopment plan, both 31stStreet and Kedzie will be widening slightly, and the public rights-of-way and sidewalks will be improved greatly, making for a much better and safer pedestrian experience.
27. How much more expensive is the project? With inflation and supply chain mishaps. Is it still working with a $600M price tag?
The project has been held up for many years by political red tape, and as a result, the project cost has been impacted, as expected, by inflation and market conditions. The total project cost has increased. As an example, the land obtained by the City of Chicago on the corner of 31stand Kedzie had an initial price tag of $1, and the final purchase price was $5 million.
28. Nurses –can equipment be moved robotically so they don’t have to look for it?
Yes, there are many technologies being explored so that nurses can spend more time “working at the top of their license.” This will make it easier for the clinical team to apply the full extent of their education and training instead of wasting time on other tasks.
29. Patients –can phone be answered on smart wall by voice, especially for elderly and handicapped patients?
Yes, there are smart walls with advance communication offerings allowing patients to interact with doctors, nurses, and their families. The project team is exploring these technologies so that they work best for the patient population served at Saint Anthony.
30. Who and how will the general public have access to the spaces like the soccer field/baseball field? Will there be gates to the areas or the parking or any of the areas to lead people to these spaces?
Yes, the athletic fields and other open spaces on the campus will be open to the public. There will be signage, wayfinding, and security components to ensure a safe experience. There will be many programming opportunities, including camps, sport leagues, fitness classes, community gardening, and much more.
31. Will this facility have a trauma center?
No, the hospital will not become a trauma center.
32. What are the boundaries that Saint Anthony will service?
Saint Anthony Hospital turns nobody away, but typically, the patient population comes from as north as Garfield Park, as west as Central Avenue, as south as 59thStreet, and as east as Halsted. The hospital prides itself on the services it provides outside of its walls as well.
33. The plans are incredibly beautiful and exciting. What is the plan to ensure it is maintained and sustains to prevent what has happened in other communities (development or retail comes in and leaves after only a few years)?
The success of the development will depend on community engagement and collaboration. The hospital will be the anchor tenant and is a tremendous economic driver. Ensuring the right mix of partners in education, retail, and recreation is key to the success and vibrancy of the campus.