McDonough District Hospital's biennial surveys have shown district residents would like to see an ear, nose and throat specialist on staff.
Director of Public Relations and Funding John Maguire said the hospital will meet that need next year with the arrival of Dr. Jeff Sparks. He will join the hospital in the summer of 2013 after the completion of his residency.
Maguire said Sparks will bring an excellent mix of experience and the latest medical expertise.
He said, "The fact is (he) has a great deal of training and we're delighted that Dr. Sparks will join us."
Sparks' practice will save patients travel to Peoria or Galesburg for for treatment of maladies like tonsillitis and others that often affect children.
Maguire said the hospital believes one full-time practitioner will meet the area's needs.
To add the specialty, the hospital will have to add to its office space.
He said, “The fact is that ear, nose, throat needs some office space suitable to their specific discipline. And so we have to create additional space for that purpose.”
An architect is working on the final drawings for the project.
The hospital will add a wing to HSB2 which is on the south side of the campus. Maguire said construction could begin in the spring. The cost will be between $3 million and $4 million. The wing will offer additional office space for future expansion of the staff.
Maguire said the hospital board has not decided where to draw the funds to pay for the construction.