A plan to relocate St. Elizabeth’s Hospital from Belleville, Ill., to O’Fallon, Ill., fell one vote short of approval this week in a vote by state regulators, but proponents of the move are still confident it will be approved.
Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert, by contrast, remains hopeful that the plan, which calls for a 144-bed, $253 million hospital in O’Fallon, will not get the green light. St. Elizabeth’s competitors, Belleville residents and community leaders have also voiced opposition to the hospital’s plan, which calls for the current building to be converted into an outpatient facility.
Eckert has expressed concern that moving the 303-bed hospital will eliminate foot traffic in downtown Belleville and take jobs from the community. Other critics of the move say St. Elizabeth’s is catering to a more affluent area in O’Fallon.
Hospital officials say the new facility is needed because the Belleville location is outdated.