Bronson to Build New Hospital and Medical Offices in South Haven

Published on September 17, 2018

Bronson to Build New Hospital and Medical Offices in South Haven

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Bronson Healthcare is making plans to invest up to $22 million to develop new facilities for Bronson South Haven Hospital that will meet the community’s needs well into the future.  Over the next two years, the health system will replace the aging hospital and medical office buildings at 955 S. Bailey Ave. with a brand new hospital and medical offices in a health village setting. 

Kirk Richardson, Bronson South Haven’s chief operating officer, says, “We could not be more pleased to have the backing of the Bronson Healthcare system to embark on a construction project of this magnitude that will have such a positive impact on the patients and families we serve.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a state-of-the-art destination for healthcare along the lakeshore, and we look forward to all the ways it will help us advance the health of our communities.”

The value of the new hospital development, along with $3.9 million already invested over the last two years, far exceeds the $18 million commitment for improvements that Bronson Healthcare made when South Haven Health System joined Bronson.

“When we chose to partner with Bronson Healthcare in 2016,” says Dennis Palgen, former board chair of South Haven Health System, “we knew it would make our hometown healthcare stronger and provide better access to primary care, diagnostics, specialty care and the resources necessary to serve the community long term. Bronson’s plan to build new healthcare facilities in South Haven is an exceptional gift to our community that will be welcomed now and appreciated for generations to come.”

Aerial Map

The new hospital and medical offices will be built on the east side of Bronson South Haven’s property near the entrance from Blue Star Highway. 

Programming and architectural design will begin in October, 2018, and, pending requisite approvals from the Bronson Healthcare board of directors and state regulatory agencies, construction could begin as early as fall of 2019. Upon completion, targeted for the end of 2020, the current hospital and medical office buildings, which are too costly to bring up to modern standards, will be demolished to create more parking and green spaces. 

The new Bronson South Haven development will be designed based on the inpatient and outpatient services most utilized by the community as well as future healthcare trends. Plans include the new hospital, a 14-bed emergency department, lab and imaging services, pharmacy, and medical offices for primary care and specialty providers.  Programming will be expanded to address identified community health needs such as outpatient chronic disease management and access to mental health and addiction services. The health village will also include the Bronson Wellness Center at 950 S. Bailey Ave. which provides nutrition, fitness and rehabilitation services and many programs that impact the health of the community, and Bronson FastCare at 970 S. South Bailey Ave. which offers quick, affordable walk-in care for minor health conditions.

Today, 89% of area residents leave South Haven for inpatient care, so the new hospital will be sized to fit local needs and what state regulators will allow for new construction based on utilization. Bronson South Haven currently averages fewer than four inpatients and three surgeries per day, so the new facility will be programmed for eight licensed beds and no operating rooms. Surgical patients may continue to schedule office appointments with their surgeons at Bronson South Haven, however, the surgeries themselves will be done in state-of-the-art surgical suites at nearby Bronson LakeView Hospital in Paw Paw or Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo. Surgeries and surgical staff will be transitioned to these Bronson locations by year-end 2018. Patients with life threatening conditions or emergent surgical needs will be promptly transferred to Bronson Methodist Hospital, as they are today.

Bronson South Haven will provide updates to the community as plans for the new hospital and medical offices evolve, and design and construction information become available next year.

Since becoming part of the region’s leading healthcare system in January, 2017, Bronson South Haven has been steadily improving quality and service. Significant investments have been made in personnel to provide wage increases and adjust pay scales to mirror the industry, in quality to achieve clinical standardization and accreditations, and in growth to add a family medicine practice, hire five new primary care providers, bring in the same emergency medicine physicians that staff all system emergency departments, add addiction services and strengthen women’s health offerings, among others.