Avita Health System, the parent company of Galion and Bucyrus Community Hospitals, has purchased the north side property of Richland Mall on Fourth Street in Ontario to build a multi-speciality medical facility at the retail site by the end of autumn 2014.
Avita intends to develop a new, easily accessible medical facility at the 17-acre property, which it purchased for $3.5m.
The new facility will have a group of multi-speciality medical providers as well as a full range of lab, imaging services and other outpatient services.
In the first phase of development, Avita aims to complete cardiology, orthopaedics, sports medicine, family practice, internal medicine, vascular medicine, pain management, plastic and reconstructive surgery, ENT, and audiology services.
In addition, Avita will add about 70 employees and eventually plans to increase that number over the next three years.
Avita Health System president and CEO Jerry Morasko said: "We will determine, through patient volume, what our next phase of expansion at this location will be. There is plenty of room to grow."
Avita also announced that it will add two new board members from Richland County.
Richland Mall general manager Jodi Scott said that the concept of building a medical centre next to a mall is relatively new.
"This is a win-win for both Avita and for the mall. Not only will this create an economic advantage for Ontario, it will also bring extra traffic to the shopping district and attract merchants to the area," Scott added.
Avita decided to build a new facility after identifying a healthcare professional shortage in the Ontario market.
Avita currently serves Richland County patients in Galion and Bucyrus.
Avita has nine medical providers in the Ontario area and operates a speciality centre, also on Fourth Street, which houses orthopaedics, sports medicine, vascular medicine, family medicine, X-ray and lab.
Avita Health System comprises two hospitals (Bucyrus and Galion Community Hospitals), along with dozens of medical offices in Crawford and Richland Counties.
It has approximately 1,000 employees and 56 providers in various specialities.