A crowd of nearly 400 people at today’s Economic Club of Grand Rapids luncheon cheered the outcome, which was held in secrecy until this afternoon.
“It’s the first time we’ve ever had a tie for the top spot,” said John Zwarensteyn, Business Journal publisher. “And I think each is deserving of the honor.”
Editor Carole Valade said the Journal’s Editorial Board, which selects the recipient each year, showed strong support for both entries.
“As the Business Journal Editorial Board considered these 10 stories, significant discussions and support were given to the wide-ranging impact — and need — of both the
During their acceptance speeches, Spectrum’s Jim Wilson and Saint Mary’s CEO Phil McCorkle each referred to the other’s center as being an integral part of
Both also indicated that these health centers will go a long way toward changing the face of health care in
Saint Mary’s McCorkle called the
Spectrum Health CEO Rick Breon called the heart center’s dedication “one of the most significant events that has ever happened at Spectrum Health.”
Already ranked as one of the top 100 cardiovascular hospitals in the United States, Spectrum Health will have a greater ability with the Meijer Heart Center to recruit and attract top physicians in cardiac care who can elevate the program further, said Fred Meijer, who provided the lead donation to the public capital campaign for the $137 million heart center.
“It’s an amazing facility,” he said. “We can build on this. It’s not only the physical facilities but the people who are going to staff those facilities that are going to make them greater and greater and greater. That’s when good attracts more good.”
Valade said it’s the “domino effect” that will enhance the health-care community in particular, and
“These projects will be a catalyst for
Spectrum opened the nine-story, 164-bed
Many of the amenities designed into the building — spacious, private inpatient rooms with sleeper chairs for family members who wish to spend the night, for example — are designed to aid a patient’s emotional well-being, which in turn can affect how they respond to medical treatment. The center was funded completely through philanthropy, including a $10 million gift from the family of the late Richard J. Lacks Sr. Its environmentally friendly design features a top floor that sports a conservatory, an outdoor garden and walking path for patients and their friends and family to use. The center also houses a
scanner/radiation treatment unit that enables doctors to better pinpoint and treat tumors. The unit is one of only 28 in use in the world and Saint Mary’s was chosen as one of 20 centers of excellence where the manufacturer will measure patient outcomes and provide on-site support.
The $45 million Lacks Cancer Center consolidates all of Saint Mary’s Health Care’s cancer treatments into a single location that provides an integrated-care model blending clinical expertise, modern medical technology and the health system’s “body, mind, spirit” approach that provides emotional support to patients and their families.
“It’s an embodiment of the best of Saint Mary’s,” said Deb Stiemann, Saint Mary’s Health Care’s vice president of strategic planning. “It both elevates the level of clinical care and is a way to bring in other clinical expertise.”
Saint Mary’s completed construction of the
As a new medical center-of-excellence in Grand Rapids, the Lacks Cancer Center has already enabled Saint Mary’s to attract several new specialists and sub-specialists in cancer treatment over the past few years, and is expected to draw many more in the future.
“What we’re talking about is new and renewed community leadership in every sector,” the Business Journal’s Valade said. “These are leaders this community wants to attract to West Michigan, and these are the types of treatment facilities we want to be known for across the country.”
Kenda Klotz, director of the center, said a diagnosis of cancer often is unexpected and takes entire families by surprise.
“Cancer has this big ripple effect, and the closer the family unit, the bigger the waves,” she said. “Our whole goal of this facility is to minimize the institutional feel and make it a warm space and a comfortable place.”
Representatives of the Lacks Cancer Center and the Meijer Heart Center were recognized with framed commemorative front pages at a Jan. 24 meeting of the Economic Club of Grand Rapids.
“Both of these projects are winners,” the Business Journal’s Zwarensteyn said. “But it’s Grand Rapids that will win because of these for years to come.”
Other finalists included completion of the M-6 expressway; Perrigo’s entrance into the generic prescription drug market; the manufacturing sector’s improved clout in Washington; Michigan State University’s Grand Rapids medical school plan; passage of Grand Rapids Public Schools’ bond package; the Lake Express ferry in Muskegon; downtown Grand Rapids’ housing boom; and the office furniture industry’s recovery.