Health Care, Human Resources, and Lakeshore

Hospital opens employee-funded suites

August 20, 2014
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Hospital opens employee-funded suites
Surgeon Dr. Bret Autrey, left, and Kelly Larr, director of surgical services, make an informal inspection of the new endoscopy suites at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. Courtesy Spectrum Health

An employee fundraising team has helped complete the last piece of a hospital’s expansion and renovation.

Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital, the 87 bed acute-care facility, said this month that it has opened a two-suite endoscopy center in the surgery department.

Endoscopy refers to minimally invasive procedures that use flexible instruments or scopes, which may incorporate surgical implements and tiny cameras to assist a surgeon, according to Spectrum Health.

Employee funds

About 262 staff members participating in the hospital’s TEAM initiative, or Together Employees Achieve More, raised more than $200,000 for the $325,000 endoscopy center. The remaining $125,000 was provided by the hospital's construction reserves.

“I think it just shows the level of commitment the employees here have,” said Kelly Larr, director of surgical services, Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. “Not only are they invested in this hospital, but they are invested in this community. This is their hospital. They are investing in their own health care essentially. I think it is a sense of pride that you have contributed to something that is being used by the patient and the staff at the hospital.”

The TEAM initiative serves as the fundraising arm of the Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital Foundation. Since its establishment in 2005, employees have raised more than $475,000 for renovations and new equipment.

Kaley Peterson, director of the Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital Foundation, said the TEAM initiative is entirely driven by employee volunteers and the improvements are meant to benefit patients.

“They choose the projects to support and are an integral part of the foundation’s efforts to provide opportunities for the community to support and improve our hospital,” Peterson said.

Two-year project

The hospital-wide construction project began in June 2012 and has brought several changes to the hospital: a new entrance and lobby, new emergency department, expansion of the surgery department facility and renovations in an outpatient area.

“You can’t walk into this hospital — I would hope as a community member, but also as an employee — and not feel a sense of pride,” Larr said. “All of those improvements were made very conscientiously with the patient in mind — their privacy, their safety.”

As construction at the hospital progressed, the decision to move the endoscopy rooms into the expanded surgery department left the original intended space vacant for future renovations, said Bill Kerans, a spokesperson for Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital.

“So even though the project is now complete, we still do have one area which is the old emergency room area, which can be used for further improvements at a later date,” Kerans said.

The suites

The endoscopy suites will for the first time provide space designated within the surgery department for endoscopic procedures.

Larr said prior to the investment into the endoscopy center, the hospital was using renovated rooms that weren’t originally intended for endoscopy patients and procedures.

With the modern suites, patients no longer will be transported to different floors away from the surgery department.

“This brings them back down into the surgery department, where they are prepped in private rooms down the hall, into the new endoscopy rooms that are devoted just for that purpose and then back the short distance to recover in their own private room,” Larr said. “It really affords a lot more privacy for the patient, not to mention safety. You are not taking someone a great distance up to a second floor after they have had sedation. You are in a unit where the monitoring is right close at hand.”

The endoscopy program at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital is set to operate five days during the week and on the weekend as needed, with a capacity of 20 procedures each day.

The endoscopy center is awaiting final inspection by the fire marshal before opening for daily operations, according to Kerans.

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