The acquisition of the Detroit Medical Center group of hospitals by the Vanguard System will mean several hundred million dollars in new construction and renovation work across southeast Michigan, with some of those millions coming to Commerce Township.
The DMC is expected to begin about $300 million in renovation and construction projects, of which more than $60 million in work will begin immediately.
According to the DMC, Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital in Commerce will benefit from renovation starting this winter. There will be new private rooms developed at the hospital at a total cost of $7 million. There will be a new operating room and pre-op/post-op center built at Detroit Receiving Hospital, a new lobby developed at Harper University Hospital, a renovation at the Harper Surgical Services facility and a renovation of the Harper Unit.
There will be two brand new construction projects implemented — the Cardiovascular Institute and Multispecialty Building, and the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Pediatric Specialty Center. A Sinai-Grace Hospital expansion will be both a renovation and a new construction project.
Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital President Lynn Torossian said the number of rooms at the hospital won’t change, but the configuration will be shuffled around.
“A space that was physician offices will be switched over into 21 private rooms for orthopedic and neurosurgical patients,” she said. “Another 21 that were semi-private (serving up to two patients) will be converted to private.”
After the renovation, there will be 125 private rooms and 28 semi-private rooms. It might seem at first blush that the hospital is angling for more upscale patients, but Torossian said the renovation of the hospital has less to do with patient luxury and more to do with the current realities of health care.
“It used to be that no one had any expectations of private rooms, and patients were set up in wards,” Torossian said. “The world has changed. The renovations have to do with better infection control. Genders of patients don’t always match. It’s a big quality of care issue.”
There is some consumer choice, as people do tend to want their own rooms when they recuperate, but the emphasis on orthopedic care also drives the decision. Orthopedic patients often require large, bulky equipment, some akin to small cranes to get patients in and out of bed, and those can be hard to accommodate in a room with more than one patient.
Torossian said no patients will be displaced during the renovation project. Work on the hospital is expected to start in four to six weeks and be completed by November.
Commerce Township Supervisor Tom Zoner said it’s always good when a non-profit facility becomes a for-profit enterprise, as Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital will be added to the township’s property tax rolls — the extent of that benefit is still being worked out by the county assessing office. In general, he said it will be good for everyone involved.
“There are benefits, and it will make the place more competitive,” Zoner said. “When a non-profit hospital loses money, they’ve got nothing to do but raise their rates. I’m very encouraged by this. It will be a good benefit for the township.”
The announcement of the renovation and construction plans came just four days after finalization of the DMC system’s purchase by Vanguard Health Systems of Nashville, Tenn. As of Jan. 1, DMC became part of a 25-hospital national company that is the fourth-largest investor-owned hospital system in the United States.