UnityPoint Health-Pekin is putting its best foot forward with a state-of-the-art medical facility with all of the bells and whistles for which doctors look.

The medical office building at the corner of Veterans Drive and Griffin Avenue is approximately 80 percent complete with workers finishing the interior. As the UnityPoint Health-Pekin medical office building nears completion, plans are in the making to find a name for the facility, bring specialists to occupy the third floor, and repay a loan from the city to build the facility.

Already, doctors are touring the facility, said Dawn Moushon, ProHealth Medical Group vice president. The building will have a lab, radiology services, spacious exam rooms and private areas where doctors can record their findings, pods for existing ProHealth Pediatrics, ProHealth Family Medicine and ProHealth Internal Medicine, and areas specifically for specialty doctors. Each pod can serve up to five providers. Lab and radiology services will be for both patients of doctors located there or for others in need of tests. There are centralized nurses stations on each floor.

UnityPoint Health-Pekin President Bob Haley said the hospital is talking with doctors in “various specialties.” Haley said it is too early in negotiations to release further details.

“These are specialists that before our affiliation with UnityPoint we could not attract,” said Haley. “They have active practices in Peoria and are willing to come over here, so we’ve designed some additional space on the third floor.”

Each floor has 26 exam rooms and two procedure rooms for things like stitches. The rooms are more than double the size of patient rooms at the existing ProHealth facilities. Family medicine and pediatrics will be on the first floor. The second floor will also have family practice and internal medicine. 

“Having a nice updated medical facility is something we have found is important to a lot of physicians, especially new physicians coming out of residency,” said Moushon. “That was a big part of our intention in designing and orchestrating (this facility) — having something to recruit to that they could be proud of in working in in this community, along with generating more ease of access for care and capacity.

“(Recruiting doctors) has been a challenge just because we have not always had enough space. We’ve had split primary care, split pediatrics — we’ve had those things. So yes, it is important for a lot of providers whether they’re new or just relocating where the convenience of where I work, to where I live, to where I have to go to the hospital.”

The new medical office building is seven minutes to the hospital, said Moushon.

The building is 52,000-square-feet and three stories high. The first floor is planned for ease of access to the community because of the nature of the services housed there, said Moushon. The building has a separate waiting area for sick patients and patients who are well who need regular checkups. Pediatrics will be located on the first floor for ease of access. Pediatrics has extended hours on evenings and weekends, said Moushon. The first floor also has a community room for health education classes, physician presentations, staff meetings and so on. The technology will be there for presentations.

The building is on schedule and will open after the first of the year so, said Haley, “it doesn’t get lost in the holiday commercials that we’re opening a new medical office building.”

In 2015, Pekin Hospital was granted a $12 million loan from Community Bank of Morton with the assistance of the city of Pekin, which was to be used to build the $17 million office building, said Blake Long, UnityPoint Health marketing communications manager. Haley said hospital officials will go to a Pekin City Council meeting later this month or in September to thank the Council for its assistance and repay the loan in full. Pekin Hospital affiliated with UnityPoint Health in January. UnityPoint will pay off the loan.

Follow Sharon Woods Harris at Twitter.com/sharrispekin

This article was altered to correct the amount of the loan from the city of Pekin.