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Monday, 02 December 2013 12:52

Mercy Health plans new center to serve northern Kent County

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A new medical outpatient center going up near Rockford will give Mercy Health Saint Mary's a larger presence in northern Kent County.

The 70,000-square-foot Mercy Health Rockford Campus, rising on a 27.4-acre site at Northland Drive and Seven Mile Road in Plainfield Township, will house primary and specialty care physicians, plus urgent care, a diagnostic lab, and radiology services that include X-ray, mammography and ultrasound. Physical therapy provider Advent Rehab and Grand Rapids Ophthalmology will also have offices at the campus.

The medical center is designed to improve access to care for Mercy Health patients in northern Kent County by deploying and providing an array of medical services at a single location, said Dr. Jerry Durfee, the lead physician at the campus.

Having to send patients elsewhere for an X-ray or blood test is not only inconvenient for them, but also makes it harder for Mercy Health to keep those patients within its care system, Durfee said.

"It's really been an area we felt needed more access," Durfee told MiBiz. "Patient convenience and patient access is probably the biggest driving factor there."

Mercy Health targets occupancy of the Rockford Campus in August 2014. The project is a collaboration between Mercy Health, Rockford Construction and Highpoint Real Estate and Development. Integrated Architecture did the design work.

Following the same process that Mercy Health used several years ago when it developed the Southwest Campus at M-6 and Byron Center Avenue in Byron Township, the organization may add a CT scanner and a mobile MRI scanner in the future at the Rockford Campus. An outpatient surgical center and an emergency room are among the other future possibilities at the new campus, Durfee said.

"All of these things have been in our thought process and have been planned into our building," he said.

The additional medical services mentioned would require state certificate-of-need approval.

Durfee hopes to see an expansion of medical services at the Rockford Campus within a year or two after it opens, depending on how quickly patient volumes at the campus grow. For now, Saint Mary's anticipates the campus will become "very successful and very busy," he said.

"If that bodes true, very quickly we will move to phase two and expand," Durfee said. "We're definitely growing."

Mercy Health is developing the Rockford Campus adjacent to an assisted-living center that's now under construction.

The Rockford Campus is the second significant health care project in northern Kent County. Spectrum Health is developing the $48 million Beltline Integrated Care Campus on East Beltline Avenue in Grand Rapids Township that will consolidate a number of locations into a single facility.

The Mercy Health project had been under consideration for at least five years and was not a reaction to Spectrum's development, Durfee said.

Read 3665 times Last modified on Monday, 02 December 2013 14:20

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