ESCANABA – Officials at OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group and members of the community gathered Wednesday at a groundbreaking ceremony for the future John and Patricia Besse Physical Rehabilitation and Wellness Center.
The new facility will be located on the hospital campus along Willow Creek Road and is being funded in large part by a $2.5 million donation to the OSF Foundation by Patricia and the late John Besse.
Total cost of the projected 14,500 square-foot facility is expected to be just over $4 million. Remaining funds are being provided by the OSF St. Francis Foundation and the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis.
“We are truly blessed by this generous gift John and Patt have made to our Foundation and our community,” said David Lord, president and CEO at OSF. “This new center will have an impact on the lives of so many in our community, for generations to come.”
During the ceremony, Patricia Besse noted her appreciation for such a special day, along with sadness that John Besse had not lived to see it. She spoke of John’s impact on the community and the legacy he has created with the gifts he has made, noting that his gifts to the community have totaled over $20 million.
“John and I are extremely humbled and proud to have our name connected with the newest addition to St. Francis Hospital,” Patricia said during her comments. “May God bless the thousands who will grace the doors and benefit from the new and needed services (this center will offer).”
The new center will offer a larger area for existing physical and occupational therapy, work hardening, cardiac rehabilitation and athletic training services, as well as new features, including a warm-water therapy pool, a step program for patients converting from treatment to supervised preventive care and a larger gym area for additional therapeutic exercise programs.
Since 1884, OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group has provided care for approximately 45,000 people throughout Delta County and surrounding communities. Part of OSF Healthcare System, headquartered in Peoria, Ill., OSF St. Francis offers hospital, physician and home based services, with clinics in Escanaba, Gladstone and Powers.