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The History of Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System

Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System has distinguished itself time and time again as a healthcare provider, employer and community partner while remaining true to its mission over the years: to provide exceptional care for all and create healthy communities. Its leaders and staff have quickly responded to changes in the way healthcare is delivered, so area residents have the benefit of receiving excellent healthcare close to home.

1960s and 1970s
Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center opened May 10, 1977 at a cost of $8 million. Planning for the regional facility began in 1968.

SBLHC added a $2.2 million Regional Cancer Center in 1989 and remodeled its Mental Health Unit. Outpatient care became a focus, and equipment became both less invasive and more accessible with the addition of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and mobile lithotripsy.

Outreach was a central focus. SBL expanded its footprint by opening patient care clinics in Casey, Neoga, Toledo, Sullivan, Arthur, Arcola, Charleston and Mattoon, and by completing a $25.5 million expansion and renovation project that added the Lumpkin Family Center for Health Education and the SBL Medical Office Pavilion.

An innovative Skilled Nursing Unit was added, as was an occupational medicine program, an employee assistance program, home health care and hospice services. The Health System also grew through significant physician recruitment efforts and multiple, community education programs that focused on health education and risk prevention.

The Outpatient Surgery Center, an expansion of the Medical Office Pavilion and a cardiac catheterization lab opened. Advances in technology allowed SBL to add “paperless” charting and “filmless” radiology services. Sarah Bush Lincoln’s many advances in technology and patient safety earned it numerous national awards beginning midway through the decade and continuing today.

SBLHC continued to invest in facilities and technology by completing a $48 million renovation to SBL, constructing Prairie Pavilion 2 medical office building, building a new Regional Cancer Center, and upgrading its medical records technology.

For a more detailed look at the history of Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System, go to: The 1960s and 1970s, The 1980s, The 1990s, The 2000s and The 2010s.


1000 Health Center Dr, Mattoon, IL 61938, USA

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  • May 26, 2020 8:15 pm local time

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