Holland Hospital Files CON Application

January 9, 2004
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HOLLAND — Plans for a $46 million expansion at Holland Community Hospital are now in the hands of the state.

The hospital last week filed an application with the Michigan Department of Community Health for a certificate of need for the project, designed to provide more space for the emergency department and inpatient units to handle growing patient volumes, as well as accommodate evolving medical technology, relocate several medical services, and improve the accessibility and the flow of patients, staff and visitors through the hospital campus.

The regional health care planning agency Alliance for Health, which reviews certificate-of-need applications in the region and forwards a recommendation for approval or denial to the Department of Community Health, will hold a public hearing on Holland Community’s application by early March, President Lody Zwarensteyn said.

He anticipates the Alliance for Health’s Evaluation Board will act on the proposal in April and a decision from the state could come by June 1.

The expansion should take the 193-bed Holland Community Hospital “as far as we can see” into the future and is designed to allow for additional floors on a new critical-care and telemetry inpatient wing to accommodate further long-term volume growth, public relations officer Wendy Wigger said.

“So we see this as taking us far into the future and continuing to grow,” Wigger said. “We’ll be able to go up and above.”

Visits to Holland Community’s emergency department, after growing 40 percent over a four-year period to 48,579 during the 2003 fiscal year, are projected to increase to nearly 57,000 by the third year after the expansion is complete, according to the hospital’s certificate-of-need application. Inpatient admissions are projected to grow from 9,145 in FY2003 to 11,546 within three years of the project’s completion.

In the CON application, the hospital included a timetable that, based on initiating construction this summer, envisions completing the entire project by June 2007. Construction would occur in phases, with the emergency department expansion targeted for completion in mid-2005.

The project consists of $42.4 million in construction costs and $3.6 million in equipment. It includes the demolition of the hospital’s oldest portion that was built in 1927, 85,000 square feet of new construction, and the renovation of 25,000 square feet of existing space.

Plans submitted to the state propose expanding the hospital’s emergency department from 17,000 square feet to 29,000 square feet and increasing the number of emergency treatment rooms from 12 to 25. The hospital would relocate 30 critical care beds to a new inpatient wing planned on the east side of the campus to replace the older wing slated for demolition, plus undertake renovations to the existing inpatient bed tower and the women’s and children’s units.

At the same time the hospital undergoes expansion, administrators will continue to examine the possible relocation of some administrative functions or medical services, or a combination of both, to other locations, Wigger said.

“We will have to continue looking at what prudently fits for location off campus,” she said.    

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