CONs Five Days 50M

July 1, 2005
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GRAND RAPIDS — The Alliance for Health received letters of intent for six different projects totaling nearly $50 million in a five-day period last week.

On Friday, June 24, Holland Community Hospital sent a letter of intent for a $2.2 million project to replace its multipurpose special radiological procedures room and a $4 million investment to replace two CT scanners. At that time, Holland Eye Clinic alerted the Alliance of an intended $900,000 investment in a two-room surgical center.

On Tuesday, Mercy General Health Partners in Muskegon sent a letter of intent for two projects totaling more than $40 million: the acquisition of a linear accelerator ($6.2 million) and the transfer of 34 beds from its Oak Campus to Sherman Campus ($34.8 million). Also Tuesday, West Michigan Surgery Center announced a nearly $2.8 million surgical center in Big Rapids.

“A lot of different projects and a lot of different money looking to be used in health care,” said Lody Zwarensteyn, Alliance president. ““People are reinvesting in technology and making investments.”

Among other things, the nonprofit Alliance serves as an evaluation board for projects seeking a Certificate of Need from the Michigan Department of Community Health. The letter of intent is the first stage in the process; the Alliance will decide on an endorsement after a defined proposal is submitted.

This Thursday, the Alliance will host a public hearing on Saint Mary’s Health Care’s proposal to add 12 psychiatric beds to its 74 at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services in Cutlerville.

“There haven’t been bed expansions in years,” Zwarensteyn said. “It’s been pretty restrictive to the point of not allowing facilities to grow up until now. There was an opening for 12 beds, and they’re applying for all of those.”    

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