By Catherine Wolf, KWMU
St. Louis, MO –
The first new hospital in St. Louis County in nearly 35 years opened Monday. The 154-bed St. Clare Health Center in Fenton replaces Kirkwood's St. Joseph Hospital, which closed the same day.
Hospital president Sherry Hausmann says the St. Clare emergency room can handle forty thousand visits per year, about double the number St. Joseph saw.
"One of the things that we did to minimize patient waits was to duplicate radiology services, so the emergency department has its own radiology department so diagnoses can be made quickly."
Hausmann says the new hospital was needed because there was not enough room to expand in St. Joseph's neighborhood location. Twenty-three patients from St. Joseph were transferred to St. Clare.