Saint Joseph Mercy Health System upgrades hospitals, ambulatory care sites

January 15, 2011

Saint Joseph Mercy Health System of Ypsilanti, Mich., is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in its hospitals and ambulatory care facilities in Southeast Michigan to respond to the changing landscape of U.S. health care. It has made about $430 million in upgrades to its facilities since 2006 and now is embarking on capital projects valued at around $270.6 million.

Garry C. Faja is president and chief executive of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and market executive for the East Michigan region of the system's parent company, Novi, Mich.-based Trinity Health. He said the projects have been aimed at renovating inpatient facilities, including converting to private patient rooms; strengthening the system's ambulatory care network; improving technology and ensuring facilities are equipped to cater to populations in need, including a growing senior population.

Among the capital projects Saint Joseph has completed during the last four years:

  • A $294 million upgrade at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor to add a surgery pavilion, two patient towers and a chapel
  • A $60 million surgery center at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, along with new retail areas and a pharmacy using robotic equipment
  • A $43 million cancer center, ambulatory surgery facility and physician offices at St. Joseph Mercy Canton Health Center in Ann Arbor
  • $14 million in cancer service improvements at the St. Joseph Mercy Brighton Cancer Center
  • The $13.6 million Our Lady of Hope Cancer Center at St. Mary Mercy Livonia
  • A $7.8 million Community Health Pavilion at St. Joseph Mercy Saline with a lab, imaging center and community rooms

Saint Joseph also has been making all of the emergency departments in its system "senior-friendly" by training staff to accommodate the needs of older adults and by making sure lighting, sound buffers and equipment are tailored to the needs of the growing senior population in Southeast Michigan.

The system now has plans for additional or new renovations at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, St. Mary Mercy Livonia and Chelsea Community Hospital.

By fall 2013, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland plans to build a $125.7 million, eight-story patient tower that will add 206 private rooms to the medical-surgical area. The hospital's current bed count will be unchanged at 443. Jack Weiner, president and chief executive of St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, said the upgrade will improve services for the facility's patients, including the significant number of low-income and vulnerable people who seek care at the hospital.

An $89 million project at St. Mary Mercy Livonia will add a three-story wing with all-private patient rooms and an emergency department. The facility's 304 bed count will not change, but all medical-surgical patient rooms will be private and have more space for family members.

Through a $55.9 million upgrade, Chelsea Community Hospital will erect a three-story addition with emergency, diagnostic and rehabilitation services and new patient beds.

The new Pontiac, Livonia and Chelsea projects are awaiting certificate of need approvals.

Faja said the capital projects will help prepare Saint Joseph Mercy for shifts in the health care system, including the continuing move to more outpatient care and the increased demands of an aging population that wants personalized care.

"Our mission is to improve the health of the people we serve by caring for the whole person — body, mind and spirit," he said. "In keeping with that, we've developed our site plans based on what the community needs," he said.

 

Copyright © 2011 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
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