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Spectrum Health Dedicates State-of-the-Art Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center; New Facility Houses Michigan's Largest Open-Heart Surgery Program.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Spectrum Health today announced the dedication of its state-of-the-art Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center, which officially opens on Nov. 29, 2004. The new facility will house Michigan's largest open-heart surgery program and its nationally recognized heart program. Spectrum Health was the only West Michigan hospital included in the Solucient 100 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals list published in the October 25 issue of Modern Healthcare.

The nine-story, 330,000-square-foot, $137 million Meijer Heart Center is located at the corner of Michigan and Barclay streets on the Butterworth Campus. The new facility features the latest medical and information technology, and is an important step in Spectrum Health's vision to be a national leader in cardiovascular services.

"The Meijer Heart Center represents a gift from the community to the community because nearly 3,000 donors, including Fred and Lena Meijer, had a part in making this vision a reality," said Richard C. Breon, president & CEO, Spectrum Health. "The consolidation of our Blodgett and Butterworth heart programs into a single location has resulted in world-class care for West Michigan patients close to home."

The Meijer Heart Center was designed specifically around the needs of patients and their families. The goal was to keep patients in one room for all or most of their stay to provide greater continuity of care, and improve the comfort and convenience for their families.

"The creation of this new facility provided Spectrum Health with a unique opportunity to re-examine how we care for patients," Breon said. "For more than a year, staff and volunteers looked at every detail of our care with a single question in mind: How can we make this an exceptional experience for patients and families? The team developed 65 strategies for service excellence resulting in standards of care that are part of every employee's training."

Nearly $34 million was raised through philanthropy to pay for about a quarter of the cost of construction. Fred and Lena Meijer led the capital campaign with their gift. Fred Meijer is the head of Meijer, the family-owned supercenter group, and Lena is his wife of 58 years.

"We wanted to contribute to a project that could help save lives, spark innovation and support the community we love," said Fred Meijer. "West Michigan should have the best heart specialists and services so people can stay close to home when they need care. This heart center offers the most comprehensive, high-tech services in the region under one roof."

Spectrum Health's heart program has been at the forefront of cardiac care for nearly 50 years. Today, Spectrum Health is the largest provider of open-heart surgeries in Michigan. In the last five years alone, the number of heart patients served at Spectrum Health Blodgett and Butterworth campuses rose 26 percent. The Meijer Heart Center reflects a response to the growing community need for heart services.

"There is an increasing demand for heart services and as the Baby Boomer generation ages, the need for cardiovascular care will continue to rise," Breon said. "The population at risk for coronary artery disease - age 45 plus - is projected to increase by 28 percent in the next decade in our 13-county service area. The Meijer Heart Center allows us to be ready to care for those patients when they need us."

Spectrum Health's heart program is ranked among Michigan's largest with outcomes that are among the nation's best.

"The design of the Meijer Heart Center puts patient care at the forefront, which directly impacts outcomes," said Richard F. McNamara, M.D., medical director of cardiology at Spectrum Health. "Multiple teams of staff and physicians played a role in the creation of this building to be sure we were creating the best possible patient experience."

The Spectrum Health heart program:

--Includes 60 heart specialists, including cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, cardiac electrophysiologists and vascular surgeons

--Treats nearly 9,800 patients annually

--Performs more than 1,300 bypass surgeries

--Ranks first among 100 Michigan hospitals in volume of coronary artery bypass grafts and ranks second in number of angioplasties performed (Michigan Health & Safety Coalition's 2003 Consumer Report)

--Reports mortality rates for coronary artery bypass graft surgery that are consistently lower than the national average reported by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons

--Named several times to the Solucient 100 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals in the nation

The public is invited to tour the new Meijer Heart Center on Saturday, Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

URS Health, a specialized group of URS Corp, served as the architectural/design firm on the project and Wolverine Construction Management served as the construction manager.

Spectrum Health is a community based, not-for-profit health system in West Michigan that offers a full continuum of care through its nine hospitals and more than 140 service sites. Our 14,000 employees, 1,600 medical staff members and nearly 2,000 volunteers are committed to delivering the highest quality care to those in medical need. We provided $76 million in community benefit during our 2004 fiscal year. Spectrum Health has earned numerous national awards and ranked 13th in Verispan's listing of top 100 Integrated Healthcare Networks. For more information, visit spectrum-health.org.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 5, 2004
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