By TESA GLASS
---- — MT. VERNON — The final piece of the new campus of Good Samaritan Regional Health Center held a ribbon cutting on Wednesday — the Surgical Center.
The original cost of the center was estimated at $9 million, according to Good Samaritan Regional Health Center President Mike Warren.
"We are now a full service hospital in the new location," Warren said.
Phil Gustafson of St. Mary's Good Samaritan and president of SSM Health Care said the surgery center is an "exciting opportunity to partner with physicians to provide a setting convenient to patients."
The surgery center will be able to provide out-patient services at the facility, while surgical procedures requiring a hospital stay will be done at Good Samaritan Hospital. The new surgery center is located on the second floor of the medical plaza in suite 200.
"United Surgical Partners is pleased to partner with and manage the surgery center," said Chris Hartshorn of USPI.. Hartshorn said the company, local surgeons and Good Samaritan had been discussing the center since July 2006.
"This has been a long time in the making," Hartshorn said. "We are thrilled to be on the campus and partner with Good Samaritan Regional Hospital."
Patients have been treated in the surgery center since January, and received its accreditation to treat Medicare patients in April, according to center administrator Melinda Cain.
"This is another milestone for Good Samaritan," said Warren. "It is an extension of the vision of the health center to find a dedicated group of surgeons and a company to partner with that shared our mission and vision. ... We are happy to have selected USPI as managing partner."
Warren said the surgery center is the fourth joint venture between the hospital and area physicians, joining The Orthopaedic Center of Southern Illinois, the Comprehensive Center for Cancer Care and the Sleep and Neurology Center of Southern Illinois.
"The physicians are our health partners, and these types of partnerships are growing," Warren said.