(Carmi, IL) — August 28, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn yesterday announced $3 million in capital funding to restore and open the now-shuttered Carmi hospital, giving area residents more convenient access to medical care.
The refurbished hospital will employ approximately 160 medical personnel and support staff in the community and create 21 construction jobs. The project will be administered by the Phoenix Foundation of Southern Illinois and is funded through the Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program.
“People living in rural parts of our state do not have the luxury of taking a short drive down the street to see a doctor or visit the hospital,” said Quinn. “People in every corner of Illinois should have access to quality health care – this capital funding will enable the residents of White County to have access to critical medical care, while creating good-paying jobs.”
Carmi, a town of 16,000 with 44 percent of the population living in low-income households, was declared a Medically Underserved Area and a Health Care Professional Shortage Area following the closure of the facility in December 2005.
Area residents, most of whom are employed in high-risk jobs in the agriculture, mining and manufacturing industries, were left with a 32-mile journey to the nearest hospital, located in McLeansboro. An area study revealed that the average time between the placement of a 9-1-1 call and transport to the nearest medical facility ranged from 32 to 116 minutes.
Refurbishment of the Carmi hospital, located at 400 Plum Street, will include electrical wiring and repairs, painting and floor refurbishment. Deep cleaning and power washing of exterior and interior surfaces will combat four years of accumulated mold and other environmental pollutants. The facility will also be equipped with new environmental control systems, a security system, an alarm system and backup systems to maintain hospital utilities during events of power outage.
The refurbishment is expected to be completed on Aug. 31, 2012.
Quinn’s stop in Carmi is a part of his weekend tour of Illinois healthcare facilities. Earlier today he visited Franklin Hospital in Benton to highlight a new law to ensure that citizens in rural parts of the state have access to medical care. Quinn also toured the McLeansboro Rehabilitation and Health Care Center to highlight recently-signed legislation that transforms Illinois’ system of long-term care for frail older adults and persons with disabilities.
Illinois Jobs Now! is a $31 billion capital plan that will revive the state’s economy by creating and retaining more than 439,000 jobs over six years.