MASON, Ohio — A new development is coming to the corner of Kings Mills Road and Kings Island Drive, but it won't be about fun and games. It will be about saving lives.
"This is going to be a full-service community hospital," said David Fikse, president of Mercy Health Cincinnati. "At the same time, we are part of the Mercy Cincinnati network, and so we're not looking to duplicate every service at every facility. So this is an opportunity for us to treat primary medical needs of this community."
The new, $156-million facility will host a 60-bed hospital along with a medical office complex on a 30-acre site, the first hospital construction in the area since Mercy Health built West Hospital nearly seven years ago. In addition to the 60 beds, the facility will house an emergency department, four operating rooms, a level-two catheterization lab and two procedure suites.
Next door will sit a medical office building with a variety of specialties.
"It's a real opportunity for us to bring kind of the bricks and mortar of healthcare to that area," Fikse said.
With 35,000 residents, Mason city officials said they need closer access to hospital care, and Mercy Health officials said many of their patients live in the area.
"Having closer access says a lot for response times," said Eric Hansen, Mason's city manager.
The closest hospital to Mason is University of Cincinnati Medical Center's West Chester campus, four miles away. After that, it's seven miles to Bethesda Arrow Springs and 11 miles to Bethesda North.
"The studies all show that the faster the response time, the faster you can get access, the survivability, as well as a chance for improvement, go up drastically," Fiske said.
For Hansen, it's not just a win for health, but also for the local economy.
"I think, yes, for acute care in the region, this is a big win," Hansen said. "For Mason, it's a big win to attract this type of development."
The new medical center will bring 220 jobs to the region, the latest in the area that has earned the nickname the "Interstate 71 Innovation Corridor."
"We've thought about the stretch of I-71 in the city of Mason as it gains critical mass in innovation and bio-health companies for more than a decade," said Michele Blair, Mason's economic development director.
Construction is set to begin in fall 2021, with completion in 2023.