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Posted on Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 2:55 p.m.

Chelsea Community Hospital announces plans for new $10M cancer center

By Ben Freed

After a major addition last year, Chelsea Community Hospital will continue to grow in 2014.

The hospital announced has announced plans to build a new 15,000 square-foot cancer center.

Chelsea Hospital expansion exterior.JPG

Chelsea Hospital's new exterior after a 130,000 square-foot expansion completed at the end of 2012.

Janet Miller |

The hospital plans to break ground on the project in January 2014 and complete construction by December. The new center will offer a range of cancer treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

“A cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event and we recognize that patients need to receive care that is outstanding both in terms of clinical competence and the compassionate way it is delivered,” Kathleen Beekman, director of the Chelsea Community Hospital Infusion Center, said in a statement.

Chelsea Milling Company CEO Howdy Holmes and his wife Carole have signed on to co-chair the capital campaign that will look to raise $6 million in support of the project. Chelsea Community Hospital spokeswoman Laura Blodgett said that the total estimated cost of the center is expected to be just under $10 million.

The new center will be an addition to the main hospital. It will include medical oncology and radiation oncology suites, physician exam rooms, patient areas, changing rooms, an onsite pharmacy for mixing chemotherapy drugs, and the infrastructure needed for a linear accelerator and CT simulator for radiation treatment.

The hospital also plans to purchase the linear accelerator and CT simulator that can create targeted radiation treatment plans for patients.

Patients receiving chemotherapy treatments will be treated in the new center, which will contain eight infusion bays and two private infusion rooms.

Chelsea Community Hospital doubled in size in 2012, adding a $40 million 130,000 square-foot expansion that opened in December. The hospital’s addition included a 20-room emergency room and 54 new hospital beds.

Blodgett said that an $8 million renovation project for the surgery center in the original hospital that was scheduled to start in 2013 is underway. According to city officials, the hospital has yet to submit plans for the new center to the City of Chelsea for review by the city’s planning and zoning commissions.

Chelsea Community Hospital is part of CHE Trinity Health System, which reached a new affiliation agreement with the University of Michigan Hospital System last year. Trinity Health is the parent company of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Get in touch with Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2



Thu, Sep 5, 2013 : 3:42 p.m.

Maybe it will spur a return to true customer service. I have moved all my care elsewhere due to U of M and St.Joe's (regardless of site location) assembly line medicine practices. So I would be all for it if it spurs on top notch quality care, which seems to have fallen by the wayside the last 5 yrs or so.


Thu, Sep 5, 2013 : 1 a.m.

Do we really need this?


Thu, Sep 5, 2013 : 11:22 a.m.

You've not had cancer then, Susan? Or not had chemotherapy of any kind? Well, I've had both and I'll tell you, any additional treatment facilities are nice. The big headline cancer ("Wear a Pink Ribbon") is NOT the #1 killer by cancer in the US and many of us need/needed treatment as well. The biggest problem is getting into an oncology treatment center, where the wait is minimal and there is some semblance of privacy. Why do cancer patients bond? Because we're jammed in the treatment centers inches apart and there is NOTHING to do for the 4-6-8 hours you sit there, watching the drip-drip-drip of infusion. Do we really need this? Are you not aging Susan? You do realize that very soon the baby boomers (all of us now senior citizens) will be the majority in the US? How about your mother or father ... do they need this? Are you certain they never will?


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 7:35 p.m.

I believe you want to spell his name HOLMES.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 7:08 p.m.

Does anyone look at the overlap across all the hospitals and these specialized wings/facilities?

Jim Mulchay

Thu, Sep 5, 2013 : 12:46 p.m.

I don't know about the 21st century, but when the "new" St Joe's was built I believe there was justification required for the number of beds and such; The issue was (again I think!) would the new hospital be unnecessarily large and have redundant facilities to other hospitals; I think the U-M Hospitals have also had to do similar justification - But I would suspect that most hospital enhancements get approved without a whole lot of argument - you just need to know what arguments to present to justify your expansion / enhancement; Maybe someone remembers this in more detail?


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 7:27 p.m.

Well, with Saline and Chelsea being taken over by SJMH, it leaves the region with just two hospitals, U-M and SJMH for all but VA. Tecumseh has a hospital, but not sure it's size, otherwise you have to travel to Jackson or Detroit for services? Am I missing something?