West Chester, Liberty townships seeing health care boom

Posted at 7:00 AM, Aug 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-15 07:13:28-04

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A new health care option is close at hand as The Christ Hospital Medical Center-Liberty Township nears completion.

The medical center slated to open in early 2018 is part of a recent health care boom centered around Tylersville and Cox roads and Liberty Way in Liberty and West Chester townships.

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center opened a Liberty Township campus in 2008. UC Health's West Chester Hospital opened in 2009. An Atrium Medical Center is expected to be complete in Liberty Township in 2018. Given TriHealth's 2016 purchase of 33 acres in Liberty Township, the trend looks to continue.

"I think the primary reason is the growth in that marketplace has been tremendous," said Vic DiPilla, vice president and chief business development officer for The Christ Hospital Health Network.

Populations in both West Chester and Liberty townships have grown significantly in recent years and are expected to continue increasing. Liberty Township's population of about 40,000 is expected to double to 80,000 in the coming years.

The increasing number of medical centers serve as somewhat of a "market correction," said Aaron Wiegand, director of community development for West Chester Township.

"The market was, frankly, drastically underserved for many years," he said.

Situated midway between Cincinnati and Dayton, West Chester and Liberty Township residents previously had to drive to one city or the other for various health needs.

"It used to be that it was expected that people would travel outside their community to seek medical care," Wiegand said.

The medical facilities popping up in the area offer convenient, accessible health care "10 minutes away from their front door," he said.

A sense of brand loyalty may be part of the driving force behind the differentiation of the market, with new medical centers being added to the mix.

"Our brand is of significant interest to the consumers in that marketplace," DiPilla said.

Having different options can also be helpful when seeking providers covered by certain insurance companies or a specific type of health care.

The Christ Hospital Medical Center under construction near the interchange of I-75 and state Route 129 will feature an emergency room, family birthing center and indoor and outdoor physical therapy facilities. The center also will offer primary and specialty care including cardiology, obstetrics and gynecology and ENT (ear, nose and throat) services.

The impact of the health care boom reaches beyond residents in need of medical assistance. The availability of medical facilities will affect other development in the area, too.

"Health care and bio-life sciences are part of our targeted industries," Wiegand said.

"When you have the hospitals here, I think it drives other medical-related facilities to the area," added Barb Wilson, director of integrated multimedia and marketing for West Chester Township.

The hospitals interact as part of an economic sphere of health care along with companies that produce medications, medical supplies and parts for medical equipment. The Butler Tech Bioscience Center in West Chester offers its share of available talent as well.

"That educated work force can also be tied to lots of other business opportunities," Wiegand said.