From today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
SSM plans new medical complex
SSM Healthcare is going to build a new campus in Fenton to replace St. Joseph's Hospital in Kirkwood. Their reasons are the typically illogical anti-urban ones: the inability of the old buildings to serve new purposes (always an exaggeration) and the need to have "three times the footprint" of the existing hospital (read: more surface parking lots). While Kirkwood is far from urban, relocating hospitals and other institutions even further from the city is not a good thing. As the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis has demonstrated, people will follow the relocated institutions.
Fenton may not seem much farther out than Kirkwood, but keep in mind that St. Joseph's Hospital is in downtown Kirkwood and on a bus route. The new hospital will be past I-270 and may not be served by mass transit at all. Mildly bad becomes really bad.
The notion that Kirkwood isn't suburban enough for the hospital's needs isn't a new one, but it's devastating nonetheless.