SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — A new $22 million hospital will open Tuesday in South Haven after years of preparation. 

The building will replace the existing hospital, which was first constructed in the 1940s with multiple additions.

Dr. Mathew Dommer, the COO of Bronson South Haven, says the new hospital is a major upgrade with every detail of the design carefully planned.

“I think something that people are going to recognize is immediately when they walk in is just even the atrium itself. It’s a healing environment and things just flow the way they should,” Dommer said.

Bronson South Haven Hospital on May 24, 2021, the day before the new building opens.

The building is located next to the existing hospital and was originally expected to open in December of 2020 but experienced delays because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“(We) weren’t able to get certain work crews in to do certain work,” Dommer said. “The great thing that we can say was there were no injuries and there was no COVID transmission during construction.”

The modern layout of the building will make it easier for patients and health care providers to move around the facility. The old hospital had a patchwork design that made it more difficult to navigate.

“It was trips down a hallway or up a stairs,” Dommer said.

The new Emergency Department design improves the line of sight from the nurses station. It also makes it easier to get to a patient in need with rooms positioned around the medical providers desks.

“We’ve got 14 rooms, two large trauma rooms as advanced as anything that we’ve got across the system,” Dommer said.

The building has eight inpatient beds. Dommer says the old building had empty rooms and this capacity will fit the need.

“From what we typically see as a census, or number patients that we’re typically caring for in a single day, we’ve got two to three times that number,” Dommer said.

He sees the project as a model for what can be done to provide hospital care in more rural areas.

The existing hospital will be demolished. The second floor, which includes outpatient offices, is expected to open on June 7.