Fort Hamilton Hospital adding community physicians, expanding services

Fort Hamilton Hospital is targeting aggressive new growth by adding a slew of physicians in the community and expanding medical services.

The hospital is going through “a major expansion” when it comes to recruiting and hiring primary care providers, according to Fort Hamilton Hospital President Ron Connovich, who started in the role last month.

“Over the next 12 to 18 months you will see a significant push into the community for patient access, trying to make it more convenient for them: new centers, new locations, new physicians,” he said.

That means adding 15 to 18 new primary care physicians, plus an undetermined amount of advanced practice providers.

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The hospital has added seven new physicians in the past several months, “from obstetrics to radiation oncology to breast surgeons to general surgeons to primary care,” Connovich said. “This is very aggressive.”

Adding primary care providers is aimed at helping the growing ranks of the hospital’s outpatient cases, which number 62 percent, Connovich said.

A recent example of such an effort is the acquisition and recent renovation of a medical office building across the street from the hospital.

Another recent Fort Hamilton Hospital purchase, Walden Ponds Medical Care, will be renovated and a minimum of four physicians will be added, he said.

There are four other such community health care locations being purchased and renovated, but Connovich said he could not yet disclose the location of each.

Fort Hamilton Hospital is part of Kettering Health Network, a network of eight hospitals, 11 emergency departments and 120 outpatient facilities in Southwest Ohio.

Kettering Health Network this spring will open a newly constructed $36 million medical office building, Hamilton Health Center on Main. The 16,000-square-foot facility at 1391 W. Main St. will offer outpatient services to meet the needs of the community, including physician practices and imaging and lab services.

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Connovich said Fort Hamilton is evaluating occupational health for the community and has talked with “a number of community partners” that would be interested in such services. He said he’s working with Kettering Health Network and its resources to bring occupational health services to the area by mid-2019.

“(That’s) still in the planning phase in where that would go,” he said. “More likely, it would be best utilized in the downtown area.”

Fort Hamilton would likely rearrange some of its existing services and put occupational health in an existing space downtown and move something else into Hamilton Health Center on Main “just because I want occupational health downtown,” he said. “I think that’s the right location for it.”

The hospital is expanding its cancer services with a more than $5 million renovation to accommodate new services and technology.

The 12,600-square-foot third floor of the physician office building at 1010 Cereal Ave. on the hospital campus will be completely remodeled to include 16 private and semi-private infusion bays to accommodate chemotherapy patients, the latest in radiation therapy technology, and 10 clinical exam rooms designed to enhance care for cancer patients, according to hospital officials.

Construction is expected to be completed in the spring of 2019.

In addition, the hospital is working to earn Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program stroke certification by the end of the year.

Fort Hamilton is working on community outreach efforts aimed at raising awareness about its existing services, including its wound care center, Connovich said.

“It’s not just hanging up a shingle and saying ‘Yeah, we have it’ but being out there in the community saying ‘This is how we can help you with it,’” he said.

Connovich said there are no plans to reduce or eliminate any of Fort Hamilton Hospital’s services.

“Everything we have, we plan on keeping and potentially growing,” he said.

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