Hospital expansion to open after Labor Day

August 17, 2013

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Open houses scheduled

LUDINGTON — Memorial Medical Center’s most recent expansion will open for patient care just after Labor Day. A public open house at the hospital will highlight a series of grand opening events during the week before the holiday weekend.

The public open house will be held on Thursday, August 29 from 4 to 6 p.m. The event will be held in the new main lobby and new emergency department on the south side of the building, facing Ludington Ave. (US 10).

Staff members will get their first official look at the new facilities at a pair of events, dovetailed with shift changes on Wednesday, August 28. Kicking off the grand opening will be a ceremonial ribbon-cutting event on Tuesday, August 27, involving board members, the hospital’s medical staff, and leaders of the design and construction firms that managed the project.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming the community to this beautiful, patient-centered expansion,” said CEO Mark Vipperman. “I believe that when they see it, the people we serve will readily understand why this is a key part of our ‘Building Exceptional Healthcare’ strategy.

“There’s no doubt that the new emergency and surgery expansions will support a level of care, comfort, privacy and convenience that exceeds anything that was previously available in this area,” Vipperman added.

The open house will include a completely new emergency care space, which doubles the capacity of the existing emergency department. The treatment space features many new or improved facilities and technological enhancements. Some new features have never been available before—including the area’s first two dedicated trauma rooms, located immediately adjacent to the new, separate ambulance entrance.

Also open for inspection will be the new main lobby, featuring both general and outpatient registration areas, a new gift shop, and a large waiting area with a two-sided fireplace. An airy, glass-walled concourse connects the lobby area with the emergency department.

The entrances to both new areas are next to each other on the new front of the building, covered by a large canopy so that patients can be protected from the elements during drop-off or pick-up. The new ambulance entrance will also be under cover, which will shield patients from weather as they’re brought in for treatment.

To improve access and convenience, the entrances to both the lobby and emergency department will now be on the front of the building, easily visible as people enter the hospital campus from Ludington Avenue. The previous main entrance, on the opposite side of the building, will now become a dedicated entrance for the expanded surgery department.

“Due to the efficient phasing of the construction, the surgery expansion on the north side of the hospital will be finished slightly later than the emergency and main lobby areas,” Vipperman noted. “For this reason, the surgical care expansion will not be accessible during the open house. We will, however, provide a virtual tour of that part of the expansion, so visitors will get a preview of that space as well.”

Vipperman said that, in addition to celebrating the grand opening, the ribbon-cutting ceremony will also provide an opportunity to recognize the project team’s dedication and hard work.

“We particularly appreciate what our project team, with the many local and regional firms that worked with them, has accomplished to bring the complex first phase of the project in on time,” he said. “The construction crews have been flexible and responsive and have done their best to minimize inconvenience to our patients.”

Visitors to the open house will also note expanded parking, with many more spaces close to the hospital entrances. Handicap parking has also been significantly expanded and located immediately adjacent to each entrance.

A new helipad, financed through fundraising pledges from hospital volunteers, will open several weeks after the emergency department and restore air ambulance service directly to and from the hospital.

The exterior of the hospital has also had a “make-over” with extensive tree, flower and shrubbery plantings.

Opening dates

The new emergency and main lobby spaces will open for patients on Wednesday, September 4. The new ambulatory surgery department, including a new surgical recovery area, will open Monday, September 9.

Renovation phase

The space occupied by the current emergency room will later be converted into a new endoscopy center as part of the overall expansion of surgical facilities.

The renovation also includes a new outpatient services zone adjacent to the new lobby, incorporating the existing laboratory and medical imaging department and a relocated cardiopulmonary department with a new stress testing facility.

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