Hospital could be headed to healthcare desert in north St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS – After years of planning, a hospital could be headed to an area of north St. Louis that some city officials call a health desert. The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will vote Friday on continuing the Healthworks Hospital Project.

The author of the bill, Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard, says it’s been decades since there’s been development in the Fifth Ward. Now she hopes a final vote will be a much-needed lifeline for people in that part of the city.

“They need a hospital right here where you’re standing,” said Elijah Shannon, a north city resident.

Hubbard says the HealthWorks project would launch as a three-bed hospital, with a 24-hour emergency room, and plans to expand to a medical corridor.

According to an outline of the project, Northside Regeneration, the city, and developers would foot the almost $73 million project.

“Currently, the area that I represent there is not one hospital in North St. Louis at all and especially not in the Fifth Ward,” Hubbard said.

The facility would be located at the intersection of Jefferson and Cass. Hubbard says access is especially needed for the people in that area.

“We have some of the worst ailments in our community healthcare. We have the least life expectancy, highest infant mortality rates, highest rates of hypertension and diabetes, so this project was definitely one that was needed in this community,” she said. “We need it, we need it."

If the bill passes, it’s headed to the mayor’s desk for her signature.

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