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Posted on Fri, Jun 1, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor to build $30 million outpatient surgery facility

By Amy Biolchini


The rear of the inpatient surgery pavilion adjacent to the east patient tower where a new $30 million outpatient surgery pavilion is slated to be constructed this fall at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor.

Melanie Maxwell |

St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor is slated to break ground this fall on a $30 million addition that will house a new outpatient surgery pavilion at its campus in Superior Township.

The project remains in the design phase, and will replace the hospital’s current outpatient surgery facilities, which officials describe as dated and inefficient.

The work comes two years after the hospital completed construction of the second of two new patient towers

Rooms in the current outpatient surgery facility -- which is a part of the Reichert Health Area on the hospital's campus -- were built about 32 years ago.

The rooms are about 300 square feet -- which is too small for technology improvements that would improve the quality of outpatient care, said Tom Tocco, vice president of support services and capital project management for St. Joseph Mercy Health System.

“We see right now that the clinical quality and service delivery is disadvantaged by the physical limitations in our surgical facility,” Tocco said.

Screen shot 2012-05-29 at 4.06.24 PM.png

Footprint of the planned new outpatient surgery pavilion on the St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor campus -- indicated here by the yellow square labeled "Proposed ASF" (Ambulatory Surgery Facility).

Courtesy of St. Joseph Mercy Health System

The two-story structure will add about 45,000 to 50,000 square feet to the hospital, and will attach to the west side of the existing in-patient surgery pavilion, adjacent to the hospital’s cafe courtyard.

The first floor of the addition will have eight operating rooms, each about 500 to 600 square feet, Tocco said.

The second floor will have two “hybrid” operating rooms, which will be about 900 to 1,000 square feet each. Only one of the rooms will be fully completed during the initial construction project, Tocco said.

The hybrid operating rooms incorporate interventional radiology with traditional operating room functions.

Patient intake, drop-off and waiting will all happen at the rear door of the hospital.

“We simply can’t handle the patient intake through the front door of the hospital because of internal constraints,” Tocco said, while outlining the project in May during a meeting of the Washtenaw Contractors Association.

A new drive and entryway will be created to separate the patient entry area from the part of the hospital where the garbage is picked up and deliveries are dropped off.

The current outpatient surgery facility is connected through a series of corridors to the inpatient facility.

“This will give us some additional, very favorable access and attributes to both staff and support services and equipment that we currently do not enjoy,” Tocco said, noting the addition will increase the efficiency of hospital services.

The hospital is working with the Detroit office of the architectural firm Harley Ellis Devereaux on the project, as well as with contractor Barton Malow -- the same company that built the inpatient surgery pavilion, Tocco said.

Bids will be accepted beginning in September or October, Tocco said. Site work on the foundations for the building will follow this fall.

The addition will be completed January 2014 and ready for occupancy by spring 2014.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.



Sat, Jun 2, 2012 : 5 p.m.

never stop expanding.never stop increasing bills. they have a facility in Saline.why not use it?


Sat, Jun 2, 2012 : 6:21 a.m.

As someone who works in surgical services at the Joe, I can say that not only will the new building be a home for the current ASF, but also the Michigan Orthopedic Surgery Center (MOSC). I work at both the main and MOSC, and the MOSC is definitely a challenge to work in at times. The ORs there are much smaller than in the main, and sometimes it is a challenge just to squeeze in the people and technology to effectively and safely perform procedures. Sure, there are always concerns with growth and wages, but having a new facility connected to the main OR And not in an outlying area will improve safety and outcomes.


Fri, Jun 1, 2012 : 11:04 p.m.

On the surface, this sounds great. But what about St. Joe - Saline? It was so important to build a brand new entrance a couple years ago and no sooner was it completed when they pretty much shut down the hospital. The place is like a morgue. Absolutely nothing going on other than labs and xrays. Emergency patients are shipped somewhere else. Poor planning, that's for sure.


Fri, Jun 1, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

More proof there is way too much profit in health care.


Fri, Jun 1, 2012 : 6:27 p.m.

hmmm...its good idea but didn't they just build a surgery pavilion in Canton?? Also, what about current employees they have had raises in 4 years. Something sounds fishy...don't you think you should take care of your current employee's first?? Just saying....


Sat, Jun 2, 2012 : 3:38 a.m.



Fri, Jun 1, 2012 : 6:28 p.m.

Sorry I meant havent had raises in four years


Fri, Jun 1, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.

Hoo ray! more jobs!


Fri, Jun 1, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

Yes! How does someone get one?

Michigan Man

Fri, Jun 1, 2012 : 1:40 p.m.

Fantastic News! St. Joe man here! Entire family worked at this great Ann Arbor institution - father was a physician on the medical staff for 35+ years! I worked at St. Joe (CMHC) in 1972 + 1982 - 1985 and was heavily involved in the design, construction and building of the "new" Mercywood, Huron Oaks and Alpha House (Jackson Rd) programs as well as other CMHC business initiatives. Wish the current St. Joe crowd great success and I will pray that God continues to bless this fine mission in Ann Arbor.

Michigan Man

Sat, Jun 2, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

Julie - If you do not like St. Joe for your healthcare needs - go elsewhere. They will be quite fine without your business. Relative to prayer, I am able to pray for whom I so choose. Finally, thank you for your insight into how God thinks and honors prayer.


Sat, Jun 2, 2012 : 3:37 a.m.

God will protect all institutions meant to save lives...not just Catholics. I, frankly, am alarmed at the unimpeded growth in the St. Joe. multiplex.


Fri, Jun 1, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

I have nothing against St. Joseph's, but is there a need for this facility? Does the State have a "certificate of public need" process, as in some states, to determine need. Excess supply of these services does not work the same way as in traditional economics. Excess supply increases demand rather than reducing costs. I hope local medical providers will keep their focus on providing family practice and general practice services. That is where the demand is not being met.


Sat, Jun 2, 2012 : 7:12 p.m.

"excess supply increases demand rather than reducing costs".... so, constructing this facility will cause more sick people that need outpatient surgery?


Fri, Jun 1, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

a lot of people are having outpatient surgery's.


Fri, Jun 1, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

I think they mentioned that the current Ambulatory Surgery facility is outmoded, and to provide best care, they need to redo it. And outpatient surgery is much cheaper and generally better for the patient than inpatient, if it can be done outpatient.


Fri, Jun 1, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

I thought The Christman Company worked on the new patient towners, not Barton Malow.

Tom Tocco

Fri, Jun 1, 2012 : 6:07 p.m.

They have since update the article with corrections. You are correct: Christman did indeed build the new patient towers, and Barton Malow build the in-patient Surgery Pavilion


Fri, Jun 1, 2012 : 1:58 p.m.

It was christman, currently doing the St. Joe in Chelsea as well

Linda Peck

Fri, Jun 1, 2012 : 12:05 p.m.

This is great news!


Fri, Jun 1, 2012 : 10:49 a.m.

This is interesting, they closed the Saline outpatient location, and now they want to build on here?


Sat, Jun 2, 2012 : 3:35 a.m.

So. Did they close the Chelsea outpatient facility, as well? I'm with sellers and craig on this.