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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2002

Governor Releases Illinois First Funds to Expand Peoria Hospital

SPRINGFIELD – Governor George H. Ryan today released $2.5 million in Illinois FIRST funds to renovate sections of the Peoria-based Methodist Medical Center of Illinois on order to expand the center’s mental health bed capacity by as many as 46 beds.

This renovation project is needed in part because of the closure earlier this year of the Zeller Mental Health Center due to state budget constraints. The renovation of Methodist is expected to handle 250 to 300 new patient admissions annually.

“The renovation and expansion of Methodist is part of a larger plan to improve mental health services in the Peoria area and shift services to community-based facilities,” Ryan said. “Change is never easy, but this allocation shows our commitment to using community-based facilities to help people with mental illness.”

When Zeller closed in August, the 93-bed facility had 450 patient admissions in the last year, with each person staying at the facility for between 30 to 45 days. Operating Zeller cost the state $15.5 million annually. The Department of Human Services estimates it will save nearly $3 million a year by transferring mental health services to community-based facilities, including Methodist.

The renovation project at Methodist will focus primarily on the facility’s 6 West nursing unit, which is currently unoccupied. Renovation is needed to meet current health care code requirements. The renovations will expand the Center’s existing mental health care capabilities by 26 adult beds and 20 children’s beds.

Methodist Medical Center of Illinois currently has 347 patient beds and offers a comprehensive array of health care services.

Illinois FIRST funds for the construction of this project are generated through the sale of state bonds. By law, proceeds from the sale of bonds cannot be used for general state operations.



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