St. Ignace hospital plans $10 million expansion

The Mackinac Straits Health System (MSHS) will break ground this summer on a 20,000-square-foot professional medical office building, funded by a $10 million state appropriation approved by the MIchigan Legislature last fall. 

What’s happening: The St. Ignace campus of MSHS includes a 15-bed critical access hospital that houses a rural health clinic, oncology clinic, outpatient surgical center, tribal health clinic, Straits Area Pharmacy, emergency room, fast care, physical therapy and a 48-bed long-term care facility, Evergreen Living Center. The expanded space for medical offices will include increased parking at the west end of the campus.

When is it happening: The health system is working with an architect and design firm on the final design. Groundbreaking is scheduled for June, with completion of the project expected in 2024, says Mark Grisdale, marketing director for Mackinac Straits Health System.

The new building will house offices currently located in three modular units on the St. Ignace campus — a primary and pediatrics clinic; the business office, which includes billing, medical records and patient advocate; and administration and human resources. The new building will also include additional clinic and conference space.

“At this time no new specialties are planned,” Grisdale says, “but our health system is always looking for the best way to meet the needs of our community. We are currently recruiting new staff to fill existing openings we already have.”

Why does it matter: The MSHS has continued to grow in the 10 years since its creation. The expansion accommodates continued growth. “We are seeing more people from the region utilizing our services,” Grisdale says. “We have added more clinical services such as pain management, along with several new surgical procedures like total joint replacement and spinal robotic cases. This has led to similar growth in orthopedic clinic visits and diagnostic appointments for our radiology and laboratory services.”

Karen Cheeseman, MSHS president and CEO
What people are saying: “This expansion is vital to accommodate our current staff and be able to treat a growing number of patients,” says Karen Cheeseman, MSHS president and CEO. “We are thrilled to be moving forward with this initiative and grateful to all our supporters for making this possible.”

Funding: The legislative budget appropriation may cover the entire project cost. “Architects and designers are putting the final touches on the plans,” Grisdale says, “and will have to see how the bids come in on what the total cost will be and go from there. We may have to trim part of the project, or have a fundraising campaign, or maybe do a little of both.”

Other MSHS locations include Bois Blanc Island Medical Center, Mackinaw City Medical Clinic, Mackinaw City Specialty Clinic, Mackinac Island Medical Center, and the Rivertown Medical Clinic in Cheboygan. 

Rosemary Parker has worked as a writer and editor for more than 40 years.
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