Childrens Hospital Profiled

April 6, 2007
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GRAND RAPIDS — At a public hearing attended mostly by Spectrum Health staff, a few public voices offered comment about the role the new $274 million Helen DeVos Children's Hospital will play in the community.

Jobs, community outreach and research were on the minds of The Rev. Nathaniel Moody, whose Brown-Hutcherson Ministries hosted the Alliance for Health hearing Thursday, and of Grand Rapids City Commissioner James B. White.

Moody pointed out that preparing young people for health care jobs at the new facility at Spectrum Health's Butterworth Campus needs to begin now for its 2010 opening.

"We want to be in a position with our community… where we can find students going to college and start grooming them toward what you're going to need," Moody said.

Dr. Bob Connors, Children's Hospital president, said the 150 jobs expected to be created will range from blue-collar to doctors. The average wage and benefits is estimated at $49,493.

"In some areas, growth in health care is flat," Connors said. "But children's health care is still growing."

According to the Alliance for Health, about half of the new jobs will be created to take care of and run the building, while the rest are devoted to patient services. Additional jobs are expected in: access management and registration, 20; food and nutrition services, 18; facility support services, 78; radiology, six; pathology and lab, one; pharmacy, five; technology and information services, seven; supply chain management, five; emergency and trauma, four; peri-operative services, six.

In response to White's query, Connors assured him that the Children's Hospital is committed to community education and research. He said the 14-story glass building will include space for staff and community education.

"We believe we can't be a full community provider without learning more about the advancement of science and medicine," Connors added.

The hearing was conducted as part of the process for a Certificate of Need, which Spectrum Health must acquire from the state Department of Community Health prior to construction of the new hospital. The Alliance for Health's Evaluation Board meets at April 19 at Grand Valley Health Plan headquarters,

829 Forest Hill Ave. SE
, to review the Children's Hospital's CON application prior to sending to the state level.

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