Nationwide Children's Hospital plans to build a Close to Home center in Marysville, according to Libbey Hoang, director of planning and business development for the hospital.
"We have purchased land in Marysville with intent to build a Close to Home center," Hoang said.
Nationwide Children's bought 2.4 acres in the city gate area on the north end of Coleman's Crossing Boulevard.
"We are still finalizing all of our plans, so we don't know how big it will be," she said. "We do know that at a minimum, we will offer urgent care, radiology and laboratory services."
Dr. Leslie Mihalov, chief of emergency medicine at Nationwide Children's, said the hospital looks at where the patients are coming from for all of its sites and found a growing population in Marysville and the number of patients traveling to its downtown Columbus location were indications that something needed to be done.
"The ideal situation for the families is to bring the resources to them," Mihalov said. "When we think about pediatric services, we think about physicians, providers -- but also, the lab that requires less blood, the radiology that has less radiation and pediatric radiologists reading the film.
" I think that level of expertise -- if you can take it to the community, it's much better," Mihalov said.
"We recognize that we see a lot of patients and have a lot of visits from that area," Hoang said. "We've also received requests from patients and physicians who have exhibited a need for us to be there and a desire for us to be there."
The relationship between Nationwide Children's and the Union County Memorial Hospital appears undefined at the moment.
Melanie Ziegler, director of marketing, public relations and development for Memorial Hospital of Union County, gave no indication if there will be a future relationship between UCMH and Nationwide Children's.
"As we have been bound by a confidentiality agreement since our talks with Nationwide Children's Hospital initiated quite some time ago, Memorial Hospital chooses to respect that agreement and therefore cannot provide comment," Ziegler said.
Hoang said Nationwide Children's is "open to collabroating on the venture" but has no partnership announcements to make right now.
The relationship between Nationwide Children's and the city is still also undefined. Hoang said hospital officials have not made contact with anyone from the city yet.
"The hospital has had some conversations with the city, but nothing formal yet. But we will be proceeding with that very soon," she said.
"The next step is to plan out the land space, so we'll be hiring architects and engineers as well as discussing opportunities with the city and then moving forward with a developer," Hoang said.
Weather will play a role on how quickly construction starts, but Hoang believes the facility will not go live until the first quarter of 2014.
The hospital will have positions to fill once it opens but Hoang will not know how many until decisions are made about the mix of services the Close to Home center will offer.
There are currently four Close to Home facilities in the Nationwide Children's Hospital Central Ohio network, including in Canal Winchester, Dublin, East Columbus and Westerville.
Mihalov hopes to continue a successful tradition in Marysville.
"We have a very close relationship with the pediatricians in all of the communities in central Ohio, mostly because they did their training here," Milahov said.
"Over the years, we've had a really good relationship with all of the pediatricians and the family doctors in the community," said Mihalov.
"We're really excited to be going into the Marysville community," Hoang said. "There's lots of great growth there so we look forward to being a part of it."