Building for care: MidMichigan Health completes Heart and Vascular Center focused on care continuum

The second phase in a multi-year investment in health care in the region, MidMichigan Health recently completed construction of the new Heart and Vascular Center located on the campus of MIdMichigan Medical Center - Midland. At more than 170,000 square feet, the new facility consolidates all of the Medical Center’s heart and vascular physician offices and specialty clinics, creating a regional destination for heart and vascular care.


Now housed under one roof, the Center focuses on everything from prevention and screening programs, outpatient services, is home to several specialty clinics, emergency services, advanced treatment and research, as well as rehabilitation and restoration.

The lobby of the MidMichigan Health Heart and Vascular Center.

The initial phase of the $62.8 million project was the new Orchard Building, completed in mid-2019, which is attached to the Heart and Vascular Center, houses support services including laboratory, diagnostic imaging and cardiovascular testing.


“This project has been three years in the making and to see it complete, and see our vision as a reality is really impactful,” says Sunita Vadakath, M.D., vice president of service lines for MidMichigan Health. “The Center will advance our care model, streamline many of our services, encourage collaboration among providers and help us deliver unmatched patient care.”


MidMichigan Health provides for care along the entire spectrum of heart and vascular needs, with the exception of pediatric cardiac care and transplant procedures.


“We have designed a comprehensive program to look at the entire care continuum,” says Dr. Vadakath. “From screening and preventative sessions around heart disease, to complex procedures like the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) and the Watchman Left Atrial Appendage Closure Implant, among others.”
A waiting room at the MidMichigan Health Heart and Vascular Center.

Situated in between the emergency department and MidMichigan Health’s inpatient hospital towers, the new Center offers direct adjacent access to both operating and cath lab facilities.


“For convenience and ease of care, we now have one integrated system that allows us to treat patients much more efficiently, even if that involves multiple specialties,” says Dr. Vadakath. “In cases of urgency, time is at a premium in cardiac care, so this will allow us to continue to strengthen our care model and provide the best environment for positive outcomes.”


The integration also helps build on MidMichigan Health’s strong performance in emergency response for cardiac care, particularly patients that suffering from ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) – the most serious type of heart attack.


A center for regional cardiac care


In 2019, MidMichigan Health completed more than 82,000 outpatient heart and vascular visits and more than 4,000 inpatient heart and vascular discharges, with 62% of the overall heart patients coming from outside Midland County.


The Center advances MidMichigan Health’s quality of care through the ability to expedite treatment and services, especially helpful for patients who are not living within the county and traveling for specialty care.

A waiting room at the MidMichigan Health Heart and Vascular Center.

“With so many of our patients coming from outside Midland, often it means an entire day for both patients and their family or friends,” says Dr. Vadakath. “Especially when it comes to some of our more complex procedures, there is advanced testing and multiple specialists involved. So, we wanted to make sure that that time was easy for both patients and their families.”


That meant designing for a calm and healing environment built around soothing and natural surroundings. That was achieved through adding abundant natural light, a large water feature and indoor living landscapes.


“The design reflects our intent to look at and treat the patient in a more holistic way,” says Dr. Vadakath.


Attracting talent for advanced procedures


The progression and depth of MidMichigan Health’s cardiovascular program has been significant since starting with open-heart surgery and angioplasty in 2007.


“In a little over a decade, we’ve transformed from a smaller regional hospital to now a regional cardiac referral center,” says William Felten, M.D., cardiovascular service line chief. “It gives us the ability to provide advanced cardiac care, function as the patients one-stop service, and do that as efficiently as possible.”


The added benefit is the new Center gives MidMichigan Health the ability to recruit top-notch talent, not just for heart surgeons, but for other specialties, as well.

The Services Entrance of the MidMichigan Health Heart and Vascular Center.

“The Center gives us the ability to recruit top surgical and specialty talent across all disciplines, whether that is minimally invasive mitral valve repair, robotic surgery or vascular surgeons who do very complex work,” says Dr. Felten. “This is a world-class facility that allows us to attract other specialties and niche procedures, support our current growth through expanded programs and plan for the future.”


Currently, MidMichigan Health serves 23 counties and approximately 938,000 patients as far north as Cheboygan.


Part of the expanded cardiovascular programs includes the addition of a demonstration kitchen, which gives MidMichigan Health the ability to support wellness programs and incorporate all aspects of a healthy lifestyle, including live cooking demonstrations in a kitchen for classes on-site. The Center also houses the space to host conferences and other events.


“As a part of the new facility we are also going to have the ability to do live conferences and events with state-of-the-art audio-visual technology,” says Dr. Felten.


Community-driven support


The entire project was met with an extensive amount of community support, from funding all the way to design and construction.


A true community effort, over half of the Heart and Vascular Center’s $30 million investment was donated locally, with the hospital exceeding the philanthropic match goal.


Supporting organizations for the Heart and Vascular Center included The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, The Charles J. Strosacker Foundation and the Dow Company Foundation, William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Isabella Bank, Midland Area Community Foundation, TCF Bank, Three Rivers Corporation Foundation, and hundreds of businesses and individuals.
The MidMichigan Health Heart and Vascular Center during the construction process, by Three Rivers Corporation.

“We are so blessed to have this project supported by such an immense amount of help from all different members and organizations within the community,” says Dr. Felten. “We are looking forward to bettering the lives of many people throughout our region with the advanced level of care provided at this facility.”


That support translates to locally built as well, with start-to-finish construction support that was designed and built by Three Rivers Corporation.


The project was completed with over 75% of materials and subcontracting support sourced locally. In addition, the job was completed safely, with zero OSHA recordables experienced.


“We are honored to partner with MidMichigan Health to deliver the second phase of this project with the new Heart and Vascular Center,” says Jon Lynch, president of Three Rivers Corporation. “From design to efficiency, this is a state-of-the-art facility that advances the level of care MidMichigan Health brings to our region by providing talented healthcare professionals a cutting-edge environment from which they can deliver sophisticated, life-prolonging services to our family and friends.”

Read more articles by Courtney Soule.

Courtney is a longtime Midland resident and enjoys telling the story of the community's evolution. She ran Catalyst Midland as the publication's managing editor from October 2017 through September 2020. Her favorite topics are interesting people, change makers, outdoor recreation and design. Aside from Catalyst, her published work can be found various places including Elephant Journal, Thought Catalog and a number of other websites, papers, menus and the occasional one-liner. 
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