The state of Illinois has given approval for a $17.77m expansion of OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington, the County Seat of McLean County in Illinois.

This expansion will add 25 beds to the current 152-bed capacity, with 10 for medical-surgical care and 15 for intensive care patients.

It will include rehabilitation of existing space and construction of a small addition to the hospital.

The expansion is aimed at meeting the rising demand for in-patient hospital care.

According to 25newsnow, this growth in demand is driven by the hiring of thousands of workers by electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Rivian.

The population growth in McLean County is also attributed to EV-linked spinoff industries, EV apprentice programmes, and other service industries. The county’s population is projected to increase by 4.9% to 185,000 by the end of the decade.

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According to the publication, the project will enable St. Joseph to accept 20% more referrals from other area hospitals.

The hospital expansion is expected to conclude by the end of 2026.

As stated by wglt.org, interim hospital president Jennifer Ulrich said: “We are working really closely with a number of schools of nursing.

“I’m very proud that over the course of the last six months we have brought in 50 new nurses….I was very excited to see those recruitment numbers.

“They’ve also started a very innovative programme with Heartland [Community College] to be able to grow interest in nursing.”

In July, the OSF Cancer Center in Bloomington expanded its services by adding three new physicians to enhance the range of surgery and treatment options available locally.

These physicians include colorectal surgeons Steven Tsoraides, Justin Fischer and breast surgeon Vaishali Patel.

They provide care at OSF Cancer Center at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center through a new professional services agreement.

Dr. Fischer focuses on disorders of the anus and rectum, and Dr. Patel specialises in diagnostic breast care and breast oncologic surgery.

Dr. Tsoraides concentrates on treating haemorrhoids, diverticulitis, colorectal cancer, and inflammatory bowel disease, including offering robotic surgery.