Daily Journal

BRADLEY — OAK Orthopedics, a Bradley-based orthopedics practice, recently merged with the expansive Illinois Bone & Joint Institute.

OAK will maintain its name, but is now known as OAK Orthopedics, a division of the Illinois Bone & Joint Institute. The Bradley campus will be the IBJI’s most southern location, noted Sherri Guertin, OAK’s market development director. The institute is one of the largest independent, physician-owned orthopedic practices in Illinois.

Completed Monday, the merger also included OAK locations in New Lenox, Frankfort and Watseka. OAK also is finalizing plans on the construction of a two-story, 43,700-square-foot medical campus in Bourbonnais at the Bourbonnais Parkway. The merger does not affect those plans and construction on the $15.5 million project is expected to begin this fall with a targeted completion of January 2022. The location will include a full clinic as well as three operating rooms.

IBJI has locations throughout the Chicagoland region including communities such as Chicago, Gurnee, Des Plaines, Libertyville, Buffalo Grove, Wilmette, Crystal Lake, Barrington, Palatine, Grayslake, Highland Park and Schaumburg.

OAK officials noted its 13 physicians, seven physician assistants, and 110 support staff members, as well as two physical therapy centers, will be joining the IBJI team.

OAK’s Chief Executive Officer Paige Cripe said the merger will provide the Kankakee, Iroquois and Will County region with great benefits.

She noted IBJI has more than 100 physicians and OAK is now part of this elite provider network.

“If OAK were to have a local patient present with a condition that we felt would be better treated by a sub-specialist in that field, through the IBJI network, we would be able to refer that patient to someone we know have proven outcomes,” Cripe said.

“Joining a nationally recognized, independent orthopedic group such as IBJI only ensures that the highest quality and most cost-efficient orthopedic services will remain in the community for a long time,” she added.

OAK Orthopedics, started in 1945, will continue to be a “solid, stable and trusted partner” within the community, she said.

“OAK Orthopedics is not closing, we are actually expanding,” Cripe stressed, adding the new surgical center remains on schedule for a fall groundbreaking.

Lee Provost, an award-winning reporter, has been writing local news stories for The Daily Journal since 1988. He is a lifelong resident of the region. Provost can be reached at lprovost@daily-journal.com.