Economic Development News

Timeline of St. Mary's Hospital - 10 years in the making
Published: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 1:00 pm
By: Mark Mehmert

The New St. Mary’s hospital is a sight to behold.  Graceful lines and eye-catching colors are complemented by lush landscaping, and a myriad of details has been put in place with an eye toward patient outcomes.  

The new hospital’s innovative design will be a great benefit to patients for generations to come, and will build on St. Mary's healing legacy.  

St. Mary's mission has always been about healing.   When the cornerstone of the current hospital was laid in 1904, the $60,000 facility was as modern as it could get--featuring 38 hospital beds, a pharmacy, x-ray services and operating rooms.  The Franciscan Sisters of Mary, the religious order who were the founders of the hospital, also helped staff the facility. 

The business community was a big part of the original St. Mary's, with Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Moerschel (proprietors of the Capitol Brewery) donating the very visible site for a single dollar. 

Today, the new $200 million hospital represents the largest (in dollar terms) construction project in Jefferson City’s history.   The business community is again a partner, as is Jefferson City, Cole County and MoDOT. 

It's partnerships which make it possible.  The Chamber contributed to a critical early-stage engineering study which considered options for lowering costs on the Mission Drive interchange, and the city, county and MoDOT were financial partners in developing the necessary infrastructure to support the new hospital. 

"We are extremely grateful to the support from the community, in particular the Chamber, City Council, County Commission and MODOT for the Hwy 179 interchange and Mission Drive", said Brent VanConia, President of SSM Health Mid-Missouri Region and SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital.  "The collaboration of these parties was critical to make this project a reality.  Without this cooperation and the partnership with many others I can safely say it is unlikely this project would have happened."

Projects like this don’t come along once in a generation, and usually not even once in a lifetime.  

A Timeline:  10 years in the making
          2004:  SSM Healthcare aquires site on Hwy. 179 
          2008:  SSM Healthcare explores partnership with the
                     Chamber, City of Jefferson, Cole County & MoDOT.
                     Chamber funds engineering study to determine
                     best options for highway access
   May 2011:  SSM Helathcare unveils designs for the new
                      $200 million St. Mary's Hospital
   July 2011:  Groundbreaking on $7.4 Million Mission Drive
                      underpass and access road
   July 2012:  Groundbreaking for hospital structure
  April 2013:  Steel framework is completed
  Sept. 2014:  SSM Healthcare announces the hospital will open
                      earlier than planned
   April 2014:  Hospital exterior is nearly complete
August 2014:  Finishing touches to interior of hospital
Nov. 16, 2014:  The long-awaited day has arrived!

"St. Mary's is not just a fixture in our community, it has been and will continue to be a huge asset to our area",  commented Cole County Presiding Commissioner Marc Ellinger.  "The Commission understood the tremendous impact the hospital has had on the local economy, and now it will continue to do so for generations to come."

St. Mary’s intends to transfer patients to the new location by November 17, where it will not only carry on its tradition of providing quality healthcare, but also serve as an economic engine.

“It’s difficult to overstate just how important this investment is to Jefferson City’s future,” indicated Jefferson City Mayor Eric Struemph.  “The City Council was quick to endorse the project because the new hospital will continue to be an economic pillar not just of our local healthcare industry, but of the entire community.”

Partnerships such as these make the New St. Mary's mission: possible.  November 16th will be a great day in our area's history. 

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