O'Fallon Weekly May 2, 2018

Meet the guys behind O'Fallon's newest restaurant, Sugarfire 64 Page 13 Name announced for downtown pavilion project Wednesday May 2, 2018 Vol. 4, No. 2 $1.00 Memorial President provides update on healthcare issues and hospital system The City Council tentatively agreed at Monday's Committee of the Whole meeting to name the pavilion portion of the downtown Destination O'Fallon project "Downtown Plaza". (Submitted Photo) By Martha Stoffel Weekly Reporter O'FALLON - A Committee of the Whole meeting was held Monday night, for discussion of items the council may see in future committee meetings and to vote to send to Council items related to the upcoming construction of the downtown pavilion, plaza and parking portion of the Destination O’Fallon economic development plan. After some discussion, the Committee of the Whole voted 7-5 (Aldermen Kevin Hagarty and Andrew Lopinot were absent) on the name “Downtown Plaza” for the project. The official vote for the name will be at the May 7 City Council meeting, to be held at the Public Safety building due to the City Hall renovations. The city received over 150 responses to an online survey in early April requesting name suggestions from O’Fallon residents. The top ten names from the survey were sent to the fourteen alder- men to rank from one to ten. Seven alderman responded to the city’s request, and staff presented the top five names from those responses. The top five names were: 1. O’Fallon Crossing, 2. Vine Street Plaza, 3. Vine Street Market, 4. O’Fallon Depot, 5. O’Fallon Station. It was indicated, after Alderman Bob Kueker inquired, the top vote getters from the public survey were Vine Street Plaza and O’Fallon Station. Alderman Ned Drolet requested the name “Downtown Pavilion,” as it indicated where it was located and what it was. A few alder- man suggested the name should include “O’Fallon.” Alderman Matthew Gilreath was concerned about any name con- taining “Plaza” so as to not create confusion with Southview Plaza. Alderman Ross Rosenberg felt the council had an obligation to select one of the names from the public survey, and made the initial motion to name the pavilion “O’Fallon Crossing.” Following the naming vote, the committee approved bids to Korte & Luitjohan for the construction of the Downtown Plaza for $1,398,840 and Rooters Asphalt for the City Hall parking lot for $158,553.03. The need for new parking at City Hall is a result of the sale of See “O'Fallon Committee” on page 8 Memorial Hospital President Mark Turner gives a presentation about healthcare issues and provides updates on the local hospitals to the O'Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals group. (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller) By Angela Simmons Weekly Reporter O'FALLON - Healthcare costs and insur- ance can be confusing for anyone. Memorial Regional Health Services President Mark Turner spoke to the O’Fallon- Shiloh Cham- ber of Commerce members about what the current issues are facing the industry profes- sionals and consumers today as everyone tries to navigate health insurance. O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce Events Coordinator Jessica Lotz introduced Turner, and spoke of the growth of Memo- rial’s healthcare system, including the new Memorial East Hospital, the new Memorial and BJC physicians offices, as well as Site- man Cancer Center coming to the area. “My background is in healthcare, and I can tell you that 15 years ago, we were not focused on trying to build a new hospital and bringing in new specialties. In fact, we were in the middle of a malpractice crisis and we were just trying to keep people from leaving our area, let alone recruiting. Know- ing this, if you fast forward to 2018, when I see Memorial East, I don’t just see a build- ing. To me, it is a physical manifestation of the incredible lengths that the hospitals had to go to in order to keep healthcare healthy for the region. So when you hear people talk about the stretch of I-64 that is called the Medical Mile, I hope as a community, you feel really proud,” Lotz said, giving credit to Turner and other Memorial staff. “I arrived in 2004 at Memorial. I was working as a Chief Operating Officer in a hospital in North Carolina and when I arrived I knew about the malpractice crisis. I did my due diligence and I thought I understood it fully. It was much more severe than I expected. Everyday, I would go down around lunchtime or breakfast to the physi- cians lounge, and with the exception dental surgery, every other specialist had exit plans. They were going,” Turner said. Turner credited his predecessor, Harry Meyer, with raising awareness and begin- ning the process of keeping physicians in the area. He gave the statistic that in a two year period in the early 2000’s, Madison and St. Clair County lost a total of 160 physicians. To further emphasize the dire situation, Turner added, “Losing five from a hospital is like a knockout punch.” Turner spoke about the Affordable Care Act, saying the goal of the program was to provide better access to healthcare coverage and to shift the payment from volume to value. He said that hospitals took a $155 million dollar pay cut over ten years to move the country’s percentage of those insured from 86 to 94. This year, Memorial specifically will get $12-$14 million less in funding, which Turner notes “changes the environment.” He sees a shift in healthcare since require- ments for purchasing have changed and discussed the notion of population health. “How we have historically been paid is we provide more services, you get more care, and we get more money. We charge a fee for service. The problem is there is See “Healthcare Update” on page 8