Muskegon stork to land at Hackley only

October 30, 2009
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MUSKEGON — By next October, Mercy Health Partners obstetrics services are expected to be consolidated at the Hackley Campus, Chief Nursing Officer Kim Maguire said.

The Trinity Health hospital last month received a recommendation for approval from local health care planning agency Alliance for Health to the Michigan Department of Community Health.

The $5.5 million project is expected to save $1.1 million per year by consolidating births at Hackley. Currently, the Muskegon General Campus handles about 1,300 births annually while Hackley delivers about 900 babies.

Maguire said the savings will come primarily from a reduction in staffing of about 26 full-time employees. The staff reduction was estimated at 9.8 clinical staff, 15.2 support staff and one management job, according to the hospital’s filing for an MDCH Certificate of Need.

The hospital expects to achieve the reductions through attrition, Maguire said. “At this point, there is no plan to lay off any nurses,” she said. MHP nurses are represented by two unions.

“There’s a lot of inefficiencies running three campuses,” Maguire noted, adding that MHP is reviewing the use of the Muskegon General campus on Oak Street.

“The plan is to go from three campuses to two and eventually down to one. Given the economic times we’re living through, we’re not certain when that is going to be. In the meantime, going from three to two makes a lot of sense.”

The remodeled obstetrics area in the 203-bed Hackley facility will encompass not only its current space on the second floor, but additional second floor space, and the fifth floor area vacated by the move of cancer services to the Mercy Campus on Sherman Boulevard.

Labor and delivery, including operating rooms for Caesarean sections, will be located on the second floor. Twenty-seven private, post-partum rooms will be placed on the fifth floor. A total of 42,890 square feet will be remodeled at a cost of $3.6 million. The architect is Progressive AE.

“One of the mantras we’ve had through this whole process — and both programs are very, very good — but we’re coming together to create something even better, so it’s going to be a newer, more improved program.”

Maguire and Beth Coulier, clinical manager for both OB programs, said staff and doctors have been involved in planning the remodeling.

Coulier and Oak Clinical Supervisor Jan Kolkema said the programs recently worked with Spectrum Health nurse Nancy Roberts to introduce an extensive screening program for post-partum depression.

Maguire said she anticipates that after the consolidation in October 2010, the program will grow to 2,500 births per year.

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