URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — After having spent the last eight months traveling hours for his care, Jasper Schinkoeth’s parents are happy to learn a specialty clinic for children has opened much closer to home.
In the last year, more than 800 children from the area had to travel to Peoria to be treated at OSF Healthcare.
The building is not new. It was being used for other specialties. Now, it’s the home of a multi-specialty clinic for children. Hospital officials say it’s an exciting day and they opened it to help provide closer care for little ones.
Jasper is now 8-months old, but when he was born, he was faced with a challenge.
“He was born in town, but after he was born, they discovered his esophagus wasn’t attached to his stomach so he needed surgery to correct that.”
His surgery was done at OSF Children’s Hospital, in Peoria, but he and his family live in Champaign.
“We both have professional, busy jobs as well, and his care and not having him in a car for three hours round trip, that’ll be a huge benefit.”
OSF leaders say the center in Urbana is for special cases, just like Jasper’s. His mother, Geneivieve Long says she can breathe a little easier knowing care is close to their backyard.
“We’ve had so many appointments. Initially it was a couple months out and then, maybe four months out and then, closer to nine months out.”
The clinic is kid-friendly with eight color-themed rooms. OSF’s directors say there definitely was a need.
“In the last twelve months, 835 children from the Champaign-Urbana and Danville region received care through the OSF Children’s Care at our hospital in Peoria.”
They will offer pediatric cardiology and surgery care to start, but the future could bring much more.
“Their entire life, their professional life circles around taking care of precious little ones that make up our future, the future of our communities.”
In late July, it will also have hematology and oncology services. They’re currently taking appointments.