South Shore Hospital has been a staple on Chicago’s Southeast side for nearly 100 years. Located 8012 S. Crandon Ave., the hospital is a nonprofit community based medical center. As it prepares for its centennial anniversary this year, the hospital is beginning its efforts to cement its place in the community for hopefully another century.
On April 25, hospital administrators and local politicians broke ground to kick off the start of the hospital’s major remodeling project that has a $7 million price tag.
South Shore said in a statement that the cost of construction and remodeling has been approved by the State of Illinois Planning Board.
The project includes the renovation of two floors and the addition of a new 1,600 sq. ft. floor which will house a Geriatric Psych Unit, Chemical Dependency and Central Supply area.
The Geriatric Psych Unit will include beds to treat patients ages 55 and older who suffer from mental illness. The unit will provide specialized treatment and rehabilitation services to geriatric patients with psychiatric problems that are difficult to manage and require hospitalization, according to South Shore.
The hospital is chartering new territory in geriatric psychiatrics; officials say there isn’t currently another geriatric psych unit in its service area.
Nick Valadez, chairman of South Shore’s Board of Directors is extremely excited about the renovation and thinks it will be a valuable asset to the area. Valadez told the Chicago Citizen that the project will bring “quality healthcare to the people of the community.”
Jesus M. Ong, South Shore’s CEO and President also expressed a sense of accomplishment.
“I think the most important thing is that we’re proud about what we have accomplished and being able to expand the services that we can provide our community and really this is an improvement for our community’s access to healthcare,” Ong told the Chicago Citizen.
Eighth Ward Alderman Michelle Harris is also enthusiastic about the hospital’s renovation; South Shore is located in her ward.
“I’m thrilled that this is happening in my community,” Harris said. “They are a community anchor and it’s a wonderful opportunity for African American businesses and local businesses to be a part of this project.”
Berglund Construction is the general contractor for the hospital’s renovation. Clarence Carson, project manager told the Chicago Citizen that the project will be completed by the end of 2012.
“We have a long history with South Shore Hospital and we’re hoping to complete this project successfully and expand beyond this,” said Carson.
By Thelma Sardin