Groundbreaking for Saint Mary\'s Wednesday in Jefferson City

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JEFFERSON CITY - A groundbreaking ceremony for the new St. Mary's hospital took place Wednesday morning in Jefferson City. The celebration started with speeches from local politicians including Jefferson City Mayor Eric Struemph and Missouri State Senator Mike Kehoe.

Mayor Struemph referred to St. Mary's as an anchor in the community. He spoke about his personal connection to the hospital. Doctors at the hospital delivered his daughter and his mother worked for the facility for 45 years. 

"We saw through her what health care was really about and how that touched her and our family," Struemph said. 

Health care officials and St. Mary's hospital workers also spoke at the event. Sister Mary Jean Ryan, a former nurse at St. Mary's spoke about the history of the hospital and its founding in faith. She said the new facility will usher in a new century of care for the Jefferson City area. 

"Now we celebrate a milestone, the beginning of a new hospital," said Ryan. "It is a milestone not only for the people who work at St. Mary's health center but for the entire community. I am delighted to see the reality that we talked about when I served here 30 years ago." 

After the speeches, Reverend John R. Gaydos gave a blessing and outside hospital officials conducted the official turning of the ground.  

St. Mary's bought the land back in 2004 and construction crews started pouring the cement for the project in April. The new 110 acre facility will open in January 2015. The hospital will include private patient rooms, and new state of the art equipment including electronic medical record technology. This is the biggest and most expensive project to hit Jefferson City.