UnityPoint Health and the community of Pekin celebrated the opening of a new physician center on Pekin’s east side with a ribbon cutting and lots of guests Thursday afternoon.

The UnityPoint Health - Pekin East physicians center is a state of the art facility that will house primary care, pediatrics, ENT, podiatry, neurology, radiology physician offices and a full lab.

President and CEO Debbie Simon said the organization is “very excited” about the new physician center.

“When you build something and you have different weather, the coordination of all of the different pieces and parts to bring it all together at once, and then to be sure that really it ended up being what people thought they designed and wanted — it came together just great,” said Simon.

The center is a three-story, 60,000-square-foot building at 3591 Griffin Ave. Each floor has 26 exam rooms and two procedure rooms. The first floor also has a community area for health education, physician presentations and meeting space. All three floors will be occupied.

Dawn Moushon, ProHealth Medical Group and UnityPoint Health Clinic Director for Medical Practices, said providers have just started moving into the new building. There will be a series of moves in the coming four to five weeks. An open house will be held once all of the providers are in the building and practices are open. Moushon said recruiters are looking for new doctors as well.

“We have great recruiters who are always looking to attract new candidates, primary care, specialty and otherwise,” She said. “We do have a new physician who has signed and will be joining in the fall, and we are interviewing another physician tomorrow.

“That was one of the main needs for a new facility. Our practices were aged. They weren’t large enough to accommodate attracting new providers to come to this community, and so that was one of the main concepts of building this. And, of course, (another concept was) also adding areas for specialists who also will be in the facility for the convenience of patients and care coordination with those primary care providers. Our facility is already doing its job even before we open.”

Moushon said doctors and staff are very excited, but also are anxious with changes and new services like centralized scheduling and centralized triage.

“Having those things in our building will offer a more personal approach when they come into the building, so that person who is taking care of them is not on the phone trying to multi-task 20 things and give them the attention they need,” said Moushon.

Pediatrician Reggie Bowman’s practice has already moved into the new building. He said his old office down the road wasn’t bad, but the new one is better.

“There’s a lab on site, X-ray on site — kind of a one shop stop, which should be good,” said Bowman.

Shannon Stubbs, the mother of five children ages 1 to 17, likes the new one-stop shop. She likes the ease of access and flow of the building.

“I think it’s very patient and family friendly,” she said. “I appreciate the fact, really to be honest, that the same exceptional care is provided here as was at the other building, we just have a new beautiful building to receive it.

“To me the most important part is the team that came with the building. They provide for our whole family. You know having five kids, you need a good team that knows who you are and knows your family. It is a huge relief to have (lab services, X-ray and doctors) all in one stop. I think it’s a perk to have all of the providers in one central location because that provides them the resources as well to kind of bounce cases off each other and really use that group knowledge in cases where we need it.”

Pekin City Manager Tony Carson said UnityPoint is one of the city’s major employers.

“The citizens have been anxiously awaiting the opening,” said Carson. “We see it to be a catalyst of future development around here.”