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Message from the President - Fall 2016

The Future of Health Care in Southwest Michigan

Welcoming a newborn into the world, deciding to take a promotion at work, or selling your house and moving to a new city or state – all of these are major milestones in life that often require a great deal of planning and preparation.

While none of us know exactly what the future may hold, here at Lakeland we also spend a great deal of time planning for the future healthcare needs of our community. We not only focus on how we can provide perfect patient care tomorrow or next week, we also look 10 to 20 years ahead when assessing what our community will need to stay healthy and enjoy a good quality of life. That’s why for the past several months, the Lakeland Health Board of Directors has been asking the tough questions such as: what do we need to replace soon and what will be needed to position Lakeland as a world-class medical center in the decades to come?

The result of that exploration was a plan to build a new medical and surgical pavilion at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph – a mission-critical project that will benefit our community in many ways.

Since the current Medical Center was built over 30 years ago, equipment such as the da Vinci® Xi™ robot, and the teams needed to use advanced equipment, have expanded and require more room to ensure the most gentle treatment possible, the best patient outcomes, and top decile safety.

In planning for the new facility, state-of-the-art surgery suites and imaging centers will be centralized to improve patient transitions between multiple care points along their journey in our hospital. The new pavilion will also provide enhanced privacy and amenities for families and visitors, including private corridors for patient transport within the hospital, ease of access and wayfinding both inside and outside the hospital, and generous natural light, offering a healing environment. An updated education center will include community-focused areas for learning healthy living and additional outreach programs.

Just like any other major milestone, the new pavilion will take years of planning and preparation. We will break ground in October and construct the facility in three phases with an estimated completion date of 2020.

Although there is work to do, as, we are excited about what the future of health care in southwest Michigan holds. Over the next three years we plan to ensure that we are equipped to provide the highest quality and safest care to our friends and neighbors for many years to come.

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