University of Michigan Approves Health System Expansion

BRIGHTON, Mich. — The University of Michigan Board of Regents approved an expansion to the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) on Nov. 19, which includes construction of two new facilities.

The first project involves building the new $175 million Brighton Health Center South in Brighton. The 320,000-square-foot facility would include multiple exam and operating rooms, pharmacy and special services to pediatric and adult patients as well as radiology and diagnostic imaging and comprehensive cancer services, including radiation and oncology.

Marschall Runge, executive vice president for medical affairs and CEO of UMHS, and Kevin Hegarty, the university’s CFO, requested construction mainly to expand UMHS ambulatory care, reported The Michigan Daily. The action request recommends HKS Architects, with an office in Detroit, be awarded the design contract. The university has previous experience with the firm after it designed the C.S. Mott Children’s and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, according to The Michigan Daily.

“In order to improve patient access to ambulatory care services, UMHS is both actively improving throughput within existing facilities and seeking to expand its capacity,” Runge and Hegarty wrote in the action request.

The request for the new center parallels the trend of ambulatory care expansion currently happening in the U.S. These centers have become more popular in recent years because they perform several of the same surgeries as hospitals but on an outpatient basis. In fact, ambulatory surgical centers performed about 65 percent of U.S. surgeries in 2012, a significant 54 percent increase since 1992.

The university currently operates three existing health centers in the Brighton area — the Brighton Health Center, the Kellogg Eye Center and the Howell Pediatric and Teen Clinic, according to The Michigan Daily.

The board also approved construction of a 75,000-square-foot building to house primary and specialty care, infusion, clinical pathology and radiology services. Scheduled to open in 2017, the facility will cost about $46 million, according to The Michigan Daily.