MCGH Seeks Millage For Expansion

    BIG RAPIDS — On April 29, the Mecosta County General Hospital will ask the citizens of Mecosta County to support an $11 million renovation of its emergency department, registration area, laboratory, drawing room and operational suites.

    A special election for the ballot proposal to levy a millage supporting the project will be held at regular general election polling places.

    If approved by voters, the proposal calls for a levy of less than 1 mill (.8998 mills in 2003 and an average .7943 mills for the remaining 19 years of the proposal).

    Depending on date of purchase, this would reflect a cost for the median market value home in the county (currently listed at $90,100) of approximately $30 to $40 per year. The proposal would fund all building and some necessary equipment for the new facility.

    The proposed 42,000-square-foot project includes redesigning the current ER and OR space along with increased space in both areas to accommodate greater patient volumes. It also would enhance patient confidentiality and privacy, as well as create more operational efficiencies.

    The hospital’s current facilities were built in the mid-70s to accommodate about 9,000 ER patients and 1,500 to 2,000 surgical patients per year. Current data now shows ER use at 22,000 for 2002, 25,000 projected for 2003 and a surgical caseload above 2,400 per year.

    “We have simply outgrown our physical plant and need to make these changes to ensure sufficient capacity to meet patient needs,” said Netty Cove, chief clinical officer, who is overseeing the project’s design and development.

    “We have done all we can with procedures, practices and personalized care. Now we must take some concrete steps to continue quality services for our community.”

    Cove explained that the ER size would nearly double, and that the operating rooms would be reconfigured for best use of space and efficient deployment of key surgical equipment.

    “The design and construction plans will allow us to serve patients while under construction so that there will be no loss of key services to the community as we proceed,” she said.

    The project also includes the redesign of areas for patient transportation and treatment, creating improved privacy and confidentiality.           

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