LAKEVIEW, Mich. (WOOD) — After more than a century of serving the community, Corewell Health’s Kelsey Hospital in Lakeview is getting ready to close its doors. After the hospital shuts down, some of its beds could be headed to another facility.
The hospital will close permanently Oct. 6.
“Of course, there has been sadness. There has been a long legacy of having a hospital in that community for well over 100 years, but we think we’re really starting to see acceptance from the community around the Lakeview Care Center that we have there and the services we’re able to provide,” Andrea Leslie, regional market leader with Corewell Health, said.
In the months following the announcement, one of Corewell Health’s goals was retaining the staff at Kelsey Hospital.
To date, Leslie said 78 of the hospital’s 108 workers have chosen to take other positions within the healthcare system. Some of the positions are considered promotions.
“As an example, we have one of our environmental services team members who has always been a leader for us, she’s taken a role in our Greenville Hospital as a pharmacy tech,” Leslie said. “So again, really helping people find ways to use their passion and skills, and it also benefits us too.”
The hospital’s staff isn’t the only thing being moved around.
This December, Corewell Health is planning to break ground on a new 44-bed inpatient rehab unit at Blodgett Hospital in East Grand Rapids.
As Kelsey Hospital shutters, there are plans to use some of its 16 bed licenses to support the project.
“We also do an analysis of what is the total number of what is the total number of licensed beds in our system and where is the greatest need,” Jonathan Ashford, chief operating officer for Corewell Health West, said.
Ashford said that this year, Blodgett Hospital has seen the largest increase in emergency department visits in the Grand Rapids market, a 16% year-to-date increase.
“We’re seeing close to 4,200 more patients so far this year coming through the ED, so it’s a substantial amount of volume that’s now flowing to that market and hospital, particularly,” Ashford said.
The move would ultimately push the number of licensed beds at Blodgett Hospital from 318 to 334.
According to Ashford, some of the beds would also be used for the hospital’s general medical surgery unit, which is in need of some relief too.
“That’s been our pinch point, and that’s where we’re really helping to alleviate that pressure point for us in this market,” Ashford said.
Ashford said Blodgett Hospital’s new inpatient rehab unit is tentatively scheduled to be completed in 2025.
According to Leslie, Corewell Health is looking to repurpose some of Kelsey Hospital’s equipment, and it’s also working with nonprofits to see if any of the equipment would be valuable to them.
The future of Kelsey Hospital’s building has not been solidified, but discussions are underway.