New medical center planned in Altamont
Dr. John Opilka has been practicing medicine in Altamont for 16 years. Over the last few years, though, his thriving practice has outgrown the 3,300-square-foot office on Third Street.
That’s changing. Opilka plans to move into an 18,000-square-foot medical center at the intersection of Main Street and U.S. 40. Groundbreaking is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on May 5. Opilka hopes to begin seeing patients at the new clinic by early next year.
Opilka will have 5,500 square feet for his practice, and Mid Illinois Medical Care Associates — the company associated with Opilka — will also have room for tenants who will provide various medical services.
Greg Baker, business director for Mid Illinois Medical Care, said HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital has already agreed to provide occupational, speech and physical therapy, while Dr. Tony Weber is slated to provide optical services.
A drive-through pharmacy is also planned, as well as a lab services distribution center. In addition, nurse practitioners Kim Burgess and Heather Barnes Forys are expected to continue working with Opilka at the new location.
“We’re excited about it,” Opilka said. “Our practice is growing and we’ve outgrown our space for a number of years.”
Opilka said the larger building will give him more scheduling flexibility and allow him and the nurse practitioners to see more patients.
The building is being designed by architect Sandra Walk of rural Effingham.
“It will be a very nice building and will be very good for the city of Altamont,” Walk said.
Altamont Mayor Jason Rippetoe said the new center will be a benefit to the community.
“We’re pleased with Dr. Opilka’s decision to invest in Altamont and all the new services he will be bringing to the community,” Rippetoe said.
Mid Illinois Medical Care Associates is a consortium of several medical practices, including Altamont Clinic, Dieterich Community Medical Clinic, Effingham Medical Center, Maple Street Clinic in Effingham and Runde Clinic in Teutopolis.
Originally from Chicago Heights, Opilka earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and earned his medical degree from Des Moines University before returning to Urbana for a residency at Carle Foundation Hospital.
Originally posted by Bill Grimes on Effingham Daily News. Bill Grimes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-347-7151, x132.