RRSTAR: Mercyhealth Rolls on With Rockton Avenue Hospital Upgrades

ROCKFORD — By all accounts, Mercyhealth outdid itself in the construction of the Javon Bea Hospital and Physician Clinic-Riverside. Initial plans announced in 2015 pegged construction of the state-of-the art facility at $400 million, which would have made it the largest construction project in the city’s history. The hospital opened Jan. 5 with a final bill that topped $500 million.

Mercy Health Systems, then a Wisconsin-based health care provider, merged in January 2015 with Rockford Health Systems, parent of Rockford Memorial Hospital. That summer, Mercyhealth sold the community on the far east side regional hospital with a pledge not only to keep Rockford Memorial Hospital — the city’s only west side hospital — open, but to invest in it to the tune of $50 million over 10 years.

Rockford-area residents are hoping Mercyhealth will once again outdo itself in the effort to modernize the 1950s Rockton Avenue facility, now Javon Bea Hospital and Physician Clinic-Rockton. Hospital officials have yet to disclose details of renovation plans expected to be announced this spring.

Mercyhealth President and CEO Javon Bea, for whom the hospitals are named, and Mercyhealth spokesman Sean Muserallo said the organization’s commitments are being met.

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