Spectrum Health and Pine Rest plan $24.2M in construction


Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children's Hospital is a pillar of downtown Grand Rapids' Medical Mile. Photo via fb.com

Two proposed major construction projects at Spectrum Health facilities in Grand Rapids and an expansion project at Pine Rest Christian Hospital are on the agenda Monday at an Alliance for Health public hearing.

AFH will take public comments on the proposed expenditures, which require a Certificate of Need approved by the Michigan Department of Community Health before the hospitals can proceed with their plans. The CON process is designed to help prevent wasteful inefficiencies in the medical care system that result in additional unnecessary cost being passed on to the public.

Spectrum Health is proposing to renovate the eighth floor of Butterworth Center Tower at a cost of $9.95 million, and to build out the currently unused fifth floor of the new Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, also at an estimated cost of $9.95 million, according to the Alliance.

The children’s hospital project will entail the hiring of six more staff members, while the Butterworth project will not require additional hiring.

Spectrum has advised the Alliance that since the DeVos Children’s Hospital opened in January 2011, periodic spikes in pediatric patient admissions have resulted in putting children in “overflow” units in the adult portions of the hospital. The hospital decided to activate the 5th floor, which had been left uncompleted in a “shell” stage of construction, until it was needed.

The proposed new unit will have 24 pediatric beds, to be brought from other areas in the Butterworth complex. Specifically, 11 licensed beds will be moved from 5-West, which will be discontinued as an inpatient unit, and 13 licensed beds will be moved from 5-North and 5-South, resulting in all private rooms on those floors. There will be no net increase in the number of beds at the Butterworth complex.

“They are counting on more business coming in” at the children’s hospital, said Lody Zwarensteyn, president of the Alliance for Health.

The other Spectrum Health proposal would renovate the eighth floor of the Butterworth Hospital center tower, which had been patient care space prior to the opening of DeVos Children’s Hospital. The area currently is unused. Currently women’s health care services are scattered in different floors and buildings at the Butterworth facility, so the hospital plans to consolidate women’s services in one location within the center tower. The proposed new inpatient unit on the eighth floor will have 20 beds, relocated from other areas within Spectrum Health. There will be no net increase in the number of Spectrum Health’s beds.

Pine Rest Christian Hospital proposes to add 10 adult psychiatric beds at its facility in Cutlerville. The beds would be located in a new 12-bed wing to be built onto the southeast corner of the existing hospital. Two existing beds will be relocated from semi-private rooms elsewhere on the campus to complete the 12-bed unit. The project also requires the addition of a parking lot and some road and utility work, with the total cost for the project set at $4,385,360.

Zwarensteyn said approximately 12 new employees will be needed at Pine Rest due to the expansion. Pine Rest also is developing a residency training program for psychiatrists, providing additional access to those hard-to-recruit physicians.

AFH will evaluate the health care expansion proposals and make recommendations to the Michigan Department of Community Health regarding approval. Comments made at the public hearing will be considered in the evaluations.

The public hearing will be held at 2 p.m., Monday, April 1, at the Alliance for Health’s second floor conference room at the Coopers Landing building, 1345 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids.

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