Health Care Checkup: Blunt talks NIH funds, Ste. Genevieve grows

The Health Care Checkup is a weekly rundown of the state’s top health care headlines.

Checking the Pulse

Roy Blunt | Courtesy of Creative Commons
Roy Blunt | Courtesy of Creative Commons

Blunt wants to boost NIH spending

During a visit to Washington University’s Alzheimer’s Research Center last week, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, who recently became the chairman of the Senate subcommittee that controls federal funding for the National Institutes of Health, said he wants to use his position on the committee to boost funding for research.

The Missouri Republican also said that he could present an opportunity for the GOP-controlled Congress, as he pointed out that funding for NIH “doubled” the last time Republicans controlled both congressional chambers.

Randall Bateman, a professor of neurology at Washington University, said the senator’s interest in fighting Alzheimer’s, and his role in helping shape the national funding goals, would help treat and prevent the disease.

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital approved to move

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital received the green light from state health regulators to move from downtown Belleville, Ill., to O’Fallon, Ill., in suburban St. Louis. The arrangement requires the hospital to keep at least 200 employees at its Belleville facility within two years after the new hospital’s completion.

The hospital will start building a 144-bed, $253 million facility on the new site to replace its 303-bed hospital in Belleville. The existing location will be used for outpatient services. The construction is expected to be completed in 2017.

Ste. Genevieve Hospital gets $1.6 million addition 

St. Louis-based McGrath & Associates is building a $1.6 million surgery addition to Ste. Genevieve Memorial Hospital. The two-story addition will connect two existing buildings. The main floor will house a registration area, and the practice of a general surgeon with a waiting area. The second floor will add six private surgery pre-op and post-op rooms.

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