MADISON, Wis. - SSM Health in Madison said Wednesday that it's changed its plan to build a clinic on South Park Street after concerns from the community.
The health system said in a news release that it won't build on South Park Street, but it still plans to expand in south Madison.
"After taking time to carefully consider concerns raised by South Madison residents, SSM Health has decided not to build our replacement clinic on South Park Street," SSM said. The plan changed after feedback from community members.
SSM Health said it will build its multimillion-dollar campus project on its existing South Fish Hatchery Road property.
SSM Health said it previously announced it's working with the City of Madison on its request for proposals for the development of the Truman Olson site, but decided to scrap the plan after residents and neighbors feared the development would create a food desert.
"Those who lead churches, Centro Hispano, the Urban League, and the Catholic Multicultural center all had concerns that it could lead to hardships for the area," said Damond Boatwright the regional director for SSM Health.
Boatwright said the decision was an opportunity to improve relationships in the area and make the right choice for SSM Health and the Madison community.
"SSM Health believes that moving our replacement clinic project away from South Park Street, and more specifically from the land where Roundy's Supermarkets Inc. currently operates a Pick 'n Save store, the City will have more time and flexibility to select the best developer and grocery store partner for the Truman Olson project," SSM said in the release.
SSM Health said it plans to work with the eventual developer and grocery store in partnering on health care services located either within or near the new grocery store.
Local leaders praised the annoucement.
"I appreciate how responsive they are being to the community and their commitment to food access," Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said.
An alder for area Tag Evers said he was pleased with the decision.
"What we're seeing is a textbook example of corporate responsibility -- hearing neighborhood concerns and working collaboratively to come up with creative solutions is the right way to move forward," he wrote in a blog.
This site change will require changes to SSM's overall project plan, but the health care group noted it is still in the early planning and development stage.
SSM Health is a Catholic, not-for-profit health system serving communities across the Midwest, employs more than 14,000 people in Wisconsin.
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