DMH celebrates opening of Monticello medical center
Jan. 19--MONTICELLO -- The opening of a Decatur Memorial Hospital location in Monticello answers a question Tim Stone has been hearing for many years, he said.
Stone, DMH's chief executive officer, said has has been asked often why DMH didn't have a facility in Monticello, especially for people who work in Decatur and live in this community about 30 miles east.
"I can honestly say going back as 20 years ago I wanted to do this," he said. "This is a community I have always been impressed with."
The DMH Monticello Medical Center opened at 777 W. Bridge St. on Thursday with a ribbon-cutting and open house. The almost 4,000-square-foot family medicine facility is on the site of a former Pizza Hut, which was torn down. The facility includes five exam rooms, a procedure room and X-ray technology. The site has room for expansion up to 10,000 square feet, Stone said.
The facility will be staffed by Dr. Zachary Shipp and nurse practitioner Megan Shelton, who are both part of the DMH Medical Group and live in Monticello, which was important to DMH, Stone said.
Stone said DMH seeks out local doctors to serve in its rural locations and the results have been positive for the doctor, the patients and the community.
"Experience has led us to conclude that when you place people from Central Illinois in Central Illinois chances are you are going to retain them," Stone said.
"I'm really excited to be offering great quality care to everyone," said Shelton, who grew up in Monticello. Shipp is originally from Peoria.
Also aiding DMH's rural sites is the use of new technology to communicate better with DMH in Decatur, which was announced Aug. 2. A new partnership with the Mid-American Emergency Physicians group will provide telehealth services to sites in Shelbyville, Arthur and Sullivan to improve access to health care and specialists for rural patients and doctors not located at the main hospital.
While Monticello is already home to Kirby Hospital, and its group of primary doctors, a Carle Foundation Hospital physicians group and a Christie Clinic location on the square, Stone said he is confident there is a need for a DMH facility in Monticello.
"We are really excited to have DMH here in town," said Kyle Koester, president of the Monticello Chamber of Commerce. "We have plenty of people here to support that, and I absolutely think we need them and are glad they are here."
A previous version of this article misspelled Megan Shelton's name.
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