St. Clare Health Center marks first anniversary

During an economy in which many companies are downsizing, SSM St. Clare Health Center, 1015 Bowles Ave., in Fenton is an exception — literally doubling its staff and adding more than 600 jobs in its first year.

St. Clare — the first new full-service hospital to be built in St. Louis County in 35 years — opened its doors March 30, 2009, as a replacement hospital for SSM St. Joseph Hospital of Kirkwood.

The staff spent four years planning the facility with a goal of fundamentally re-inventing the patient-care experience – making it safer, more comfortable and more convenient.

The community rapidly embraced the new facility: St. Clare delivered its first baby within eight hours of opening and filled three inpatient units within three days.

The St. Clare Emergency Department, with its 30 exam rooms, now treats 1,000 more people per month than at the former Kirkwood facility, which had 12 exam rooms.

In the past year, a 13,600-square-foot St. Clare Surgical Center opened on campus, providing patients with the convenience of a freestanding surgical center — with the support of a full-service hospital right next door. The hospital also added a $2.3 million Biplane Angiography System, greatly expanding treatment capabilities for stroke, aneurysms and other life-threatening neurovascular conditions.

St. Clare will celebrate its first year of operation — and give the public another chance to look inside — during a Community Open House from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 27, at the health center.

For reservations, call (866) 866-SSM-DOCS (776-3627).