GRAND HAVEN — The $50 million Health Pointe medical center that opens next week follows the same model that Spectrum Health has used over the years to develop other outpatient campuses across West Michigan.
The key difference this time is that Health Pointe is a joint venture between Spectrum Health and Holland Hospital, which nearly four years ago signed an agreement to pursue clinical collaborations.
Through Health Pointe, Spectrum Health and Holland Hospital gain a major, physical presence in the northwestern Ottawa County health care market in an effort that builds on their collaboration for future partnerships.
“We have a bright future together with Holland,” said Spectrum Health Chief Operating Officer Christina Freese Decker.
Holland Hospital and Spectrum Health have worked together for years on a number of fronts dating back to well before their May 2014 clinical agreement to pursue new ventures. Past partnerships include the Lakeshore Radiation and Oncology Center north of Holland, as well as cooperation on other clinical services such as heart care.
Health Pointe houses several medical specialists, some of which are new to the market, and Spectrum Health and Holland Hospital could add to the mix, Freese Decker said. Spectrum Health has found in the past that when it expanded into markets with a new campus, a need emerged for a specific specialty that “we didn’t recognize before,” she said.
“We want to see where Health Pointe is going and evaluate,” Freese Decker said. “We’re continuing to develop the relationship and identifying what the community needs and then we’ll be there together.”
Developing Health Pointe in Grand Haven represents a “new level” of collaboration with Spectrum Health, said Holland Hospital President and CEO Dale Sowders.
The Health Pointe joint venture in Grand Haven — where Holland Hospital has had specialty physicians working for years — originated through conversations with Spectrum Health executives about “what does this look like next,” Sowders said.
“This extends our relationship in a new area with resources we already have that we think will benefit the community,” he said.
Health Pointe was the first significant project emanating out of the collaborative agreement between Holland Hospital and Spectrum Health.
Although “nothing is in the works right now in that sense,” Holland Hospital remains open to additional joint projects, Sowders said.
Health Pointe strengthens and increases access to specialty care in northwestern Ottawa County provided by Holland and Spectrum, and potentially enables both to create patient loyalty, Sowders said.
“Health Pointe gives us the chance to do all of those, and those are all transferable to other regions. We just haven’t identified that at this stage,” he said. “This one was our first, and based on how it’s gone, there would be an appetite to do that.”
As with the integrated care campuses that Spectrum Health developed in markets across the region, Health Pointe consolidates about 20 primary care and specialist physicians into a single location. The center also includes a diagnostic lab, medical imaging, an urgent care center and outpatient surgery.
The idea behind the care model in that having all medical disciplines housed together leads to improved care coordination and continuity and generates greater convenience for patients.
The model also eliminates physicians working “in typical silos in fragmented ways,” said Dr. David Ottenbaker, a primary care physician in Grand Haven for nearly 30 years and now associate chief medical officer for the Spectrum Health Medical Group.
“It was a dream of many of us many years ago to put something together like this,” Ottenbaker said.
Health Pointe’s development has come with some contention locally. North Ottawa Community Health System, which has been adding specialists locally via a 2016 collaboration agreement with Mercy Health, objected to the project two years ago as it went through local zoning approval.
The objections included the creation of what North Ottawa views as redundant medical services, specifically the outpatient surgery center and medical imaging.
Spectrum Health and Holland Hospital have countered that Heath Pointe offers choice in the market for patients, and that many people were leaving the market to see specialists.