New $156 million hospital will fill Warren County need: What it will include

A new $156 million hospital will continue Mason’s focus on creating a “culture of wellness” over the past decade, the Warren County city’s top administrator said.

The Mercy Health hospital complex will be on a 30-acre site along the Interstate 71 Innovation Corridor. Mercy Health expects to break ground on the 156,900-square-foot facility in the third quarter this year, and bring as many as 220 new jobs to Mason in 2024, officials said. Jobs could climb to as many as 275, hospital officials said.

The city’s efforts toward wellness have included bike paths and a planned enclosed pool for residents as well as attracting biohealth and bioscience companies, such as the P&G Research Center. The planned 60-bed hospital will be “kind of a linchpin to a lot of work that’s gone on for many years now in building that culture,” said City Manager Eric Hansen.

ExploreMercy Health to build new $156M, 60-bed hospital campus in Mason

Mason Economic Development Director Michele Blair said a project like Mercy Health’s also has a job multiplier effect for the region. She said for every job created, there are nearly 2 1/2 additional jobs created in the county.

“Our strategies have much in common,” she said of Mercy Health and the city. “We are energized by the large emphasis that Bon Secours Mercy Health places on research, innovation and engagement with early-stage companies. Mason economic development has an ongoing track record of facilitating and adopting innovation through this model to grow the Mason BioHub. We are looking forward to having Mercy here as a partner.”

Mercy Health–Cincinnati President Dave Fikse said the health network’s leadership team identified an opportunity for serving unmet inpatient needs in Warren County. He said there are 150,000 covered lives within the Mercy network, and many live in the Mason and northeastern area of southwest Ohio “and this is a way to offer these services in a more convenient setting for them.”

“We see an opportunity from a standpoint of an in-patient healthcare facility,” he said. “You look at where there’s a void in the Cincinnati community, and geographically, there’s a small void, which is why it’s a smaller footprint hospital.”

While the hospital will be an out-patient hospital as much as it is an in-patient hospital, said Fikse.

“We continue to do more and more out-patient work, even at our current hospital sites, and we plan to do that here,” he said. “We have an opportunity to plan for that out-patient (service), so we want to make sure that experience is the best it can be.”

There are an estimated 234,600 residents in Warren County, and more than 33,800 live in Mason, according to U.S. Census estimates.

The closest hospital facilities to Mason include Bethesda North in Hamilton County, Tri-Health Arrow Springs and Atrium Medical Center in Warren County, and Children’s Hospital Medical Center, The Christ Hospital Medical Center and UC Health’s West Chester Hospital in Butler County.

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Mason has developed the city to be a core for bioscience innovation, and its business portfolio includes advanced manufacturing, healthcare and technology companies. In the past 10 years, more than $800 million have been invested in the city, with more than 4,000 jobs created in Mason. Three-fourths of those jobs are in the biohealth space.

Construction on the new Mercy Health complex is expected to last two years, with completion in the latter half of 2023. Mercy Health officials said patient care is anticipated to begin shortly after construction is complete.

The 156,900-square-foot hospital will be the first new hospital in the Cincinnati region since Mercy Health built its West Hospital in 2014. Officials said this new hospital will focus on emergency care, as well as general and orthopedic surgery. Cincinnati architecture firm GBBN will design the complex, and Danis will lead the construction. The hospital complex will include an emergency department; one level II cath lab, four operating rooms and two procedure suites.

A medical office building will be adjacent to the hospital with specialist care, such as cardiology, pulmonology, general surgery, gynecology, gastroenterology and vascular services.

The complex will also offer an opportunity for future campus expansion, said Fiske. He said they may not be able to double the bed capacity, he said there will be room for growth.

Mason City Council was expected to approve a tax incentive deal on Monday night. The proposed deal would include a $600,000 forgivable loan and waive expedited permit fees. The city would also agree to a mutual commitment to explore a collaboration around bio innovation.

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