Mercy Health to Renovate Former VA Clinic

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Mercy Health – Youngstown is renovating the former VA clinic building on Belmont Avenue to accommodate a variety of services. The 25,000-square-foot building will undergo a facelift and technology upgrade to make way for patient care areas.

When completed, the space will offer four distinct but closely related services, says Dr. John Luellen, president, Mercy Health – Youngstown. It is slated to be complete by the end of the year.

First to take shape will be an expanded Family Medicine Residency program space. By moving the program from the already crowded Mercy Health – St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital campus, additional doctors will become available to area residents. Co-located within this space will be an updated obstetrics and gynecology clinic.

“This move will allow Mercy Health to train more family medicine physicians as well as accommodate more patients,” Luellen says. “Additionally, this will offer access to these medical services in an area where they had previously not been available.”

Mercy also plans to relocate and expand the Centering Pregnancy Program that focuses on group patient care. Knowing that receiving health care in a group setting leads to greater engagement, learning and promotes better outcomes, the program works to reduce infant mortality, Luellen says.

Bringing this program out of the hospital and into the community will help young mothers gain access to this resource, he continues. And co-locating the Centering Pregnancy Program in the same location as an obstetrics and gynecology clinic will offer a more cohesive and comprehensive course of care.

Mercy Health will also launch an Addiction Medicine Fellowship program in the new space. Mercy intends to have two fellows a year graduate from this program. With the Centering Pregnancy Program directly across the hall, the addiction specialists will embed into the obstetrics and gynecology clinic to help pregnant women who are struggling with addiction. The goal with this collaborative effort will be to minimize the effects of withdrawal on newborn infants and decrease mortality rates.

“Mercy Health is looking to grow access to services within the community where we know that these programs will impact the greatest needs,” Luellen says, noting that much of the planning for the new building was predicated on knowledge gained from the Community Health Needs Assessment.

The final aspect of the plan involves the seven acres that surround the building, which Mercy Health intends to landscape into green space for the new campus on the Belmont Avenue corridor.

The goal is to complete the renovations to the building and introduce services throughout 2022 with full occupancy by the end of the year.