Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital Reaching Out to Crystal Lake with Board Certified Emergency Room Docs

An extension of Good Shepherd Hospital has opened in Crystal Lake across from the Pingree Road Metra commuter station. You can drive straight across the street from the Metra parking lot into the new Immediate Care Center.

It’s at 525 Congress Parkway and had a “soft opening” on Monday.

“It’s state of the art ambulatory services,” Ambulatory Services Manager Deb Spiewok told me.

“The name of the building is Good Shepherd Hospital Outpatient Center,” Ro Ostergaard, Adovcate Good Shepherd Hospital Communications Manager, explained when I called her.

Spiewok, a bit camera shy, explained the vision for the facility:

To bring Good Shepherd quality services to Crystal Lake and surrounding communities.

“This facility is an extension of the hospital,” she added.

Its Medical Director is Dr. Liz Horvath. She is a Board Certified Emergency Care physician, seen here with Dr. Joe Giangrasso, who heads Good Shepherd Hospital’s Emergency Department.

8 AM to 8 PM is when she or another Board Certified Emergency Care physician will be available to treat patients.

Once you find the building, you just walk in the door and take the first door on the left. That’s where I found Dr. Horvath and Dr. Giangrasso.

“The physicians staffing the facility will be the same physicians that treat the patients at Good Shepherd’s Emergency Department,” Dr. Giangrasso explained.

“It’s very important for the quality of care for our patients,” Ambulatory Services Manager Spiewok added. “We have a physician, nurses and emergency room clinical techs.”

Good Shepherd’s investment in this new medical office complex strikes me as pretty large.

Spiewok showed me 8 treatment rooms. These rooms have walls and doors. It seems to be a step up from the Good Shepherd emergency room I remember when we took our son at least one remodeling ago, when curtains provided the privacy.

Adjoining and connected to the Immediate Care examining room complex, including one to treat eye problems, there is an imaging center, Spiewok showed me.

“We have a full imaging center with digital mammography and state of the art CT and MRI,” she continued. “We have X-ray and ultrasound in addition. It was designed with patients’ privacy in mind.”

I was showed individual waiting rooms with doors to protect one’s privacy. This one goes right into the X-ray room. They told me there already is such an exam scheduled for Wednesday.

As the tour continued, I saw the digital mammography room. Again, it is accessible from individual private rooms. That’s Spiewok playing patient.

Radiologic Techologist Mike Heft proudly showed me the Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine.

He explained that it supplies 1.5 tesla Magnetic Resonance images, pointing out that the strength of the magnet is state of the art.

When I had an MRI back in the late 1990’s, I felt claustrophobic. This machine seems to have a hole big enough to remove such fears.

“It’s a large opening, so people don’t feel so confined,” Heft explained.

Then, he showed me the GE Light Speed 64 slice CT scan machine, pointing out that it is “state of the art.”

He said it would be used for angiography and cardiac studies.

Spiewok also showed me a community outreach room available for meetings. It’s right past the elevator leading to the future office of Board Certified physician Dr. Robert Malecki, who will start accepting new patients the middle of next month.

Yesterday they held a “soft opening.” There was one patient. Maybe it was because of the widespread mailing made by Good Shepherd.

“If an ambulance is needed, the EMS staff follow their normal protocol,” Ostergaard told me when I asked to what emergency room would patients needing more help be taken.

A community open house will be Saturday, September 13th from 9-1. The phone number is 815-479-8020. The address 525 Congress Parkway.

And, if you ride Metra, don’t think about parking in this building’s parking lot. The sign is already up.

The opening of this Immediate Care service follows the failure of Wisconsin-based Mercy Health Systems to gain approval for a hospital in Crystal Lake, which, of course, would have put an emergency room in Crystal Lake.

Earlier this year, Centegra opened a medical office building right behind Dominick’s. (You can see it in the bottom photo to the right of Advocate Good Shepherd Outpatient Center.)

Having visited two physicians there, I am not aware that it has a walk-in capacity. I had to make appointments.

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Sept. 4th I was informed by Centegra’s Leanne Whiting that its building where two of my physicians are housed does have a walk-in capacity. Here’s what she emailed me:

“I just wanted to clarify some information about the Centegra Immediate Care center available at 360 Station Dr.

“In your blog you questioned whether or not the facility had walk-in capacity and I am writing to let you know that we do, and encourage people to walk in.

“Centegra Primary Care offices are also available at this location; to see one of these doctors you must make an appointment. If you have any further questions regarding the Crystal Lake Medical Arts building or the Centegra Immediate Care center please contact me.”

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In the interest of full disclosure, I learned about the opening of the facility today at my brother-in-law Joe Giangrasso’s son’s birthday party at my in-laws Wonder Lake home. Never can tell where a story will pop up.

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