Parrish Campus Announcement
The demolition work at the Owensboro Health Parrish Avenue campus might look like the end of a story, but it’s really just the beginning of a new chapter.
On Thursday, Feb. 20, Owensboro Health administrators invited local leaders and representatives from the health system’s partners to celebrate the history of the Parrish Avenue campus. Two separate events were held in the morning and evening, with both being well attended. In all, more than 100 people came to share in the event.
But administrators also had another reason to bring people together in what used to be the old Emergency Department space: To share their vision for the future of the property.
“The dreams are just beginning to grow. Owensboro Health believes in a strong, vibrant Parrish campus. Not just redeveloped, but reinvigorated. To us, that means making the most of all this wonderful site has to offer,” said Owensboro Health Board of Directors Chair Deborah Nunley. “We are committed to development that is smart and responsible—and that furthers our mission to heal the sick and to improve the health of the communities we serve.”
The process starts with a $38 million project to return most of the campus to green space, leaving behind the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center, the Breckenridge medical office building, the remaining renovated hospital space (where the old Emergency Department, Mother/Baby and Labor/Delivery units were located) and the parking garage.
The Mitchell Memorial Campus Center and the University of Louisville nursing program which currently reside on the Parrish Avenue campus will also be joined by a new physician residency program and a new primary care center, which will be formed by the merger of Owensboro Health Primary Care and the McAuley Clinic. The new care center will be known as McAuley Primary Care and will feature more space and additional providers to meet the needs of those it serves.
Owensboro Health Vice President of Business Development and Community Health Edward Heath said the health system is committed to making the Parrish Avenue campus a vibrant and essential part of the community.
“I can’t think of a better fit for the Parrish campus, because it means we’ll still be changing lives here—just like we’ve always done,” Heath said. “We anticipate that it will spur economic development and infuse the local economy. Our vision is that it's going to be a bustling medical campus that will address the biggest need of access to care and also the need of education.”
The redevelopment of the Parrish campus will continue through October 2014, said Joe Taylor, executive director of facilities.
Nunley said ultimately, this is Owensboro Health living up to its commitment and ideals.
“By redeveloping the Parrish campus, we will be in position to pursue ideas that complement our mission,” Nunley said. “The decision to remove the old hospital building was difficult, but it was the right move for our community.”
Rev. Bonnie Brown, director of Owensboro Health Pastoral Care, helped close out the service with a spiritual reflection time and a responsive prayer. Brown said the campus’ meaning to the people of this region is too great to ignore.
“I tried to count how many of our family took their first breath on that campus. It was so many I couldn't even count them. How about all the tens of thousands of people, and maybe even more than that, whose lives the Parrish Avenue campus touched?” Brown said. “It's made holy by not just the births and deaths, but the healing and kindnesses shown. I just wanted us to recognize as a community what an impact that (place had). Ground doesn't have an impact. People had an impact on each other in that place. Our grace and actions there made that place holy.”