Sarah Bush Lincoln Welcomes the Altamont Medical Center to its Health System

John Opilka, DO (left) shakes hands with SBL President, and CEO, Jerry Esker.

Sarah Bush Lincoln is pleased to announce that the Altamont Medical Center, owned by Family Practitioner John Opilka, DO, has joined the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System. All 20 employees will remain with the Clinic.

Four Advanced Practice providers, who work with Dr. Opilka, also joined Sarah Bush Lincoln. They include Kimberley Burgess, APRN; Heather Forys, APRN; Randi Berg, APRN; and Kathryn Koester, APRN. They will also continue to see patients at the new Sarah Bush Lincoln Altamont Medical Center.

SBL President & CEO Jerry Esker said, “We are beyond pleased that Dr. Opilka and his staff chose to join our team. They have an excellent reputation for quality, and we are confident that it will complement our growing presence in our southern market. This partnership helps us provide more extensive care to the community.”

Dr. Opilka explained his decision to join Sarah Bush Lincoln. “We have a long-standing relationship with Sarah Bush Lincoln and know the organization to be true to its word. Sarah Bush Lincoln follows through with its commitments and always put the needs of the patient first. That is what solidified our decision to join Sarah Bush Lincoln. I know I can trust the leadership to do the right thing at every turn. For me, I am able to focus all of my time on medicine instead of the daily needs of running a practice which continue to get more complicated every day.”

Dr. Opilka, who built an 18,000-square-foot building four years ago at 5 E Cumberland, will relocate to his former office at 8 North Third St., Altamont on April 5. The telephone number remains the same, 618 483-6151.

“It’s unfortunate that we have to inconvenience our patients and move to our former clinic. Due to an existing lease arrangement with HSHS St. Anthony, they will not allow us remain in the building if we become employed by Sarah Bush Lincoln,” Dr. Opilka explained.

Esker assured patients that the former clinic will undergo some renovations to accommodate the practice’s needs. It will offer diagnostic imaging and phlebotomy services provided by Sarah Bush Lincoln staff.

He added that patients will have the benefit of a large health system with available specialists and diagnostic tools close to home. Financial assistance is available for people who qualify. Sarah Bush Lincoln does not turn anyone away for an inability to pay for care.

Dr. Opilka added, “I’m sure the news of this partnership is quickly spreading through our community. We shared the news with all our staff members this week and they were excited to hear about our partnership and what it will mean to our patients. Our patients will be receiving letters in the coming days which will share more information about this exciting partnership.”

The clinic is welcoming new patients. To make an appointment at SBL Altamont Medical Center, call 618 483-6151.

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