By The Editorial Board / Rockford Register Star
Mercyhealth’s announcement that its two Rockford hospitals would be named after President & CEO Javon Bea not only acknowledges Bea’s significant contributions to Mercyhealth’s growth since 1989, but it also serves as inspiration to Rockford natives.
Bea’s humble upbringing as the youngest of 12 children of a family that lived on Rockford’s west side, a story that you might have seen during the Bears-Packers Sunday Night Football game, shows it doesn’t matter where you come from and that with hard work and dedication you can be successful.
And there’s no question Bea has been successful. Mercyhealth’s beginnings, much like Bea’s, were humble. It has grown from a single hospital in Janesville, Wisconsin, to a regional healthcare powerhouse.
Mercyhealth’s $505 million medical campus on Riverside Boulevard and Interstate 90 is a visible testament to the health system’s growth. Mercyhealth employs 750 physicians, more than 8,000 employee/partners and has gross revenue of more than $3 billion.
In particular, board members credit Bea with the turnaround of Rockford Health System, which Mercy merged with in 2015. Rockford Health System had lost $48.7 million in five years before the merger, but now boasts a net income of $27 million.
The best is yet to come. The Riverside/I-90 campus has already changed the regional health care conversation. Health systems in Madison and Milwaukee are aware that the Rockford facility will be attractive to patients that normally wouldn’t consider coming to northern Illinois for health care.
Congratulations to Javon Bea for making it happen. He’s a Rockford success story and we should celebrate that. The hospitals will proudly bear his name.
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