Health system plans $3.9M facility
A health system is planning to build a $3.9-million facility in the region to provide access to specialty and primary care services for a growing patient base.
Mercy Health, a Trinity Health ministry, said yesterday that it plans to build the 15,000-square-foot facility in Pere Marquette Township, near Ludington, at the northwest corner of Jebavy and U.S. 10.
With recent approval from the Pere Marquette Township Planning Commission for the site plan, Mercy Health anticipates breaking ground on the facility in September with a scheduled opening next June.
The facility will accommodate a number of health care services: primary care, laboratory, radiology, rehabilitation, occupational medicine, behavioral health, urgent care, cardiology and neurosurgery.
Mercy Health’s facility will also allow for growth, allowing specialty clinics to be added to the building over time.
Dr. John Cooney, medical director of Mercy Health Physician Partners at Sable Point Family Care, said the planning process for the design of the facility included feedback from patients, physicians, nurses and support staff who collaborated with the developer and architect to ensure the new office was patient focused.
“We looked at the future model of primary care and its requirements and then designed the process,” Cooney said. “Once we designed the process, then the building was designed around it.”
Several key features of the design include a flexible environment allowing for scaling purposes depending on patient demand and flow, a single entrance and waiting room and patient rooms designed for the individual’s comfort.
Filling service "gaps"
The facility is designed to support the surrounding community’s need for medical access and was prompted by several factors: recognition of the increasing number of people accessing care in the Mercy Health system along the lakeshore, especially since the opening of Sable Point Family Care in July 2014; and a number of current providers in occupational medicine, behavioral health and primary care looking at retirement.
Jay Bryan, president and CEO of Mercy Health Lakeshore Campus, said the facility will provide convenient access to needed services in the region.
"Ludington is an important market for us, both primary care and specialty services," Bryan said. "This is a way to fill the gaps and continue to advance the services along the lakeshore. The behavioral health services, especially up in the rural area, are declining and are hard to get."
At the time of Sable Point Family Care’s opening, Mercy Health brought on two physician providers and several months later hired a physician assistant.
The organization is also in discussion with a fourth independent practice physician to join the primary care team.
With a provider team of roughly 12 members practicing in the Ludington area, Bryan said that Mercy Health is looking to hire individuals in physical therapy, occupational medicine, urgent care and at least one social worker to be embedded in the practice for behavioral health services.