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Sunday, May 22, 2011

$3 million remodeling planned for Christie

$3 million remodeling planned for Christie
By Debra Pressey

CHAMPAIGN — Christie Clinic is undertaking a $3 million remodeling project at the main clinic in downtown Champaign.

The downtown building at the corner of Neil Street and University Avenue houses most of Christie Clinic's specialists and major diagnostic equipment, and some of those specialty departments have grown too crowded, Christie's CEO Alan Gleghorn said.

The clinic has been steadily adding patients, and many of them are winding up at the downtown clinic for specialty care and diagnostics, Gleghorn said.

The number of patient visits has also grown steadily throughout the clinic, from 569,615 in 2006 to 673,268 last year, according to Christie's Chief Financial Officer Kenny Bilger.

The remodeling will create space for 10 additional physicians, some of whom are already on board, Gleghorn said.

The number of doctors in the pulmonology department, for example, has been doubled from two to four to keep up with the need for care among people with lung diseases Gleghorn said.

"We just continue to grow that business. More pulmonary diseases in the area, unfortunately," he said.

Plans call for a new pulmonary function lab to be added and for the pulmonary department to move to the lower level that used to house physical therapy and orthopedics departments, which moved off-site after flooding in the downtown area.

Now that the flooding problem has been fixed, Gleghorn said, that lower level space is being gutted and remodeled. It will have a new upgraded waiting room along with new heating, cooling, electrical and plumbing systems.

Upstairs, the dermatology department, set to add another new physician, will be expanded into the old pulmonary department space.

Cardiology, another growing department, will also move to the lower level to the lower level of the building, and the chemical infusion department will also be expanded and remodeled to create a better environment for patients, Gleghorn said.

"It's way too crowded," he added.

One of the biggest changes that might be noticed by all patients will be a replacement of all four older elevators, Bilger said.

All the construction work is expected to be completed by this fall, and patients are expected to notice minimal disruption since all the work is being confined to specific areas, clinic officials said.Patients can check Christie Clinic's website for updates on the project athttp://www.christieclinic.com.

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