Saint Marys Expands Medical Reach

April 11, 2003
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GRANDVILLE — A new medical building planned near the RiverTown Crossings Mall will give Saint Mary’s Mercy Medical Center an expanded presence on the rapidly growing southwest side of Kent County.

Saint Mary’s plans to break ground this week on the $3.7 million center that will consolidate two smaller physician offices of Advantage Health, the health system’s group of 80 primary care and specialty physicians. The Grandville site will become Advantage Health’s largest facility and will initially house eight to 10 physicians, as well as new diagnostic, x-ray, mammography and physical therapy services.

Saint Mary’s may bring additional medical imaging and outpatient services to the facility in the future, said Doug Edema, vice president of ambulatory services at Saint Mary’s and president of Advantage Health.

In the planning stages for years, the center’s development follows Saint Mary’s strategy of deploying a higher level of outpatient services into the community to improve convenience and access for patients, Edema said.

“What we are putting together will be somewhat of a signature center for Saint Mary’s,” he said.

The new Advantage Health office, planned for a site at 44th Street and RiverTown Parkway, is targeted for occupancy by January or February 2004. The site provides Saint Mary’s the ability to easily expand the 18,000-square-foot facility to as large as 45,000 square feet

Saint Mary’s is already beginning to examine future medical services for the site, Edema said. They include the possibility of outpatient surgical procedures, all of which are now performed at Saint Mary’s main hospital campus in Grand Rapids.

What’s ultimately offered at the new location in the future will depend on “what’s best for the patient and most accessible,” Edema said.

For now, the project gives Saint Mary’s and Advantage Health a new location from which to stake out a larger presence in southeastern Kent County. Saint Mary’s presently has a 21 percent market share in the Grandville-Wyoming area.

“We’re really trying to create a presence on the southwest side of town for Saints,” Edema said. “It’s imperative on our part to have a presence in that part of town. It’s a huge, growing area.”

Saint Mary’s now has 14 Advantage Health offices in Kent County and eastern Ottawa County that serve 250,000 patients annually.

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