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Posted on Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 5:57 a.m.

University of Michigan adding 500 jobs for expanded Mott children's, women's hospital

By Nathan Bomey


The University of Michigan is hiring 500 new workers to staff its expanded C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital, which will open in November.

File photo |

Related story: The 5 hottest jobs at the University of Michigan's new children's, women's hospital complex

The University of Michigan Health System is gradually hiring 500 new workers to staff the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital when the massive new hospital complex opens in November, five years after construction started.

The long-planned hiring surge makes the $754 million facility's arrival the biggest driver of job growth for the Ann Arbor area in 2011.

The hospital, which employs more than 4,000 people, has already added 150 new employees in many different areas — and another 63 job openings are currently posted.

Sometime soon after the 1.1-million-square-foot, 348-bed complex opens, the hospital will have added 500 new employees.

"That includes almost every department," said Loree Collett, associate hospital administrator and operational lead for the expansion project.

The hiring spurt highlights health care’s continuing role as the most powerful driver of economic growth for the Ann Arbor region.

Washtenaw County’s state government sector — which includes the U-M Health System — added about 2,404 jobs from 2009 to 2011, according to an economic forecast released in March by U-M economists. The economists said they suspected that most of that growth was in the U-M Health System, which employs more than 20,200 workers.

Over the next two years, that sector is expected to add another 2,057 jobs, accounting for more than 25 percent of the region’s projected job growth during that period.

Private providers of ambulatory health care services were expected to add 490 jobs from 2009 to 2013, according to the forecast. Private hospitals — which would include the St. Joseph Mercy Health System — were expected to add 394 jobs.

Collett said the U-M children’s and women’s hospital — which will effectively double in size when the new facility opens — completed an exhaustive process to determine where new employees would be needed.

Officials analyzed every department, projected future needs and examined how to staff up to handle growth in the "most efficient way possible,” she said.

The job growth is scattered throughout the hospital. Among the biggest areas of need are nurses in many different areas, clerical employees, radiology technicians, laboratory technicians, janitorial staff and ambulatory care staff.

Some jobs — such as janitorial work, or "environmental services," as U-M calls it — will be easy to fill.

But other, more specialized positions require recruiting. (See related story: The five hottest jobs at the expanded hospital.)

The hospital has already hired a number of employees, including some who won’t work in a clinical setting, such as security, maintenance, information technology, electricians, plumbers and food service workers.

The hospital needs to expand its janitorial staff in part because the new complex has private bathrooms for every patient. The current facility has one bathroom for every four patients.

Some jobs won't be filled until the days leading up to the facility's opening. But the nursing jobs, in particular, typically require 12 to 24 weeks of training.

Meanwhile, the hospital has been actively designing plans for a highly coordinated 12-hour move in which the hospital will shift patients from the old facility to the new complex next door.

The process involves thorough analysis of every patient to determine what type of medical equipment is necessary to make the shift. It also involves meticulous planning for routes, security and timing.

Right now, the hospital is budgeting about 17 minutes per patient for the move.

The hospital expects to have about 180 to 200 patients at the time of the shift. There's no way to know the exact composition and needs of the patients who will be staying at the hospital during the exact hours of the move, so the hospital is studying its own records to determine the most likely scenarios.

"There will be a variety of acuity or sickness," Collett said. "The general care patients will move pretty quickly. The critical care patients will take a little longer."

The new hospital will have a 12-story inpatient tower and a 9-story clinic tower. It’s the largest construction project currently underway in the state of Michigan.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Wed, Jul 6, 2011 : 1:58 a.m.

Jobs? That sounds so Republican. Can't Washington just cut everyone a goverment check and be done with it?

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 7 p.m.

But those are government jobs. So, in conservaspeak, they're not real jobs. Good Night and Good Luck


Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 4:38 p.m.

Health care seems to be the only growth industry in MI. While this is better than nothing, it is important to remember that health care is a service industry that generally relies on an affluent, or well insured, patient base. That base is eroding, yet the UM health system continues to invest heavily and will need to recoup costs for this and other new facilities, like the Cardiovascular center. Meanwhile, health care costs have consistently outpaced inflation for more than 3 decades now and are up to 17% of the GDP. In order to utilize the service sector, we still need jobs and industries that create wealth, otherwise we are merely redistributing the wealth that was created from previous generations. Manufacturing or other industries that add value to products are still essential and cannot be replaced with a pure service sector economy. Furthermore, healthcare costs must be controlled or we will not be competitive as a nation. This hospital seems like a good idea until you realize the costs involved.


Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 7:44 p.m.

I agree. Many of these jobs will be non-living wage/part-time jobs. Also, I like you feel we need manufacturing to compete in a global economy. The question is do we want to compete in a "Village Economy" or a "Global Economy." Lack of manufacturing and a service- based economy correlate with the former. Unfortunately, the healh care sector is going to be the next bubble to burst. The cost structure is just unsustainable.


Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 3:36 p.m.

After almost 20 years of running a profit, UM Hospital is now in the red, due in part to spending $754 million to construct the new facilities. And now they expect the RNs to pay of it? What makes the UM Hospital one of the best in the nation? The shinny new buildings or the MDs, RNs, et. al who work there?


Wed, Jul 6, 2011 : 2:17 a.m.

and I remember the good ol' days when reckless, needless, deficit spending was frowned upon! Glad you guys are back! Ronald Regan would be proud.


Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 5:56 p.m.

Sounds like the nurses union has the talking points ready and the lemmings are running with them.


Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 4:42 p.m.

New buildings - especially hospitals - are needed for a variety of logical reasons. And the best employees are drawn to good working environments (it's not always just about the money). The doctors, nurses, and staff of the UM hospital, along with their patients, deserve the BEST equipment and the BEST facilities.

Tom Whitaker

Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 3:20 p.m.

What is the plan for getting these new workers to and from their jobs?

David Paris

Wed, Jul 6, 2011 : 12:10 a.m.

Reduced employee parking, and increased bus service, of course.


Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 2:58 p.m.

1 good story about investment in the community and many good paying upper & middle-class jobs. A couple of posts from people ignorant of the facts who prefer to post ridiculous rabble... priceless.


Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 1:43 p.m.

1 White collar $300.000 a year PLUS & 499 House Keeping $7.95 an hour Priceless

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 11:02 p.m.

"Actually, Housekeepers make approximately $15.00 a hour with good benefits. That is a pretty good wage considering the skill involved for that type of work." $15/hour x 40 hours/week x 52 weeks = $31,200 per year. If there is a family involved, this is barely above being in poverty. Good Night and Good Luck


Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 2:51 p.m.

Remember, they work around sick people, have to clean things infected with things we'd rather not think about, and do it day after day. It's important to have good staff at all levels in a hospital..


Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 2:45 p.m.

Actually, Housekeepers make approximately $15.00 a hour with good benefits. That is a pretty good wage considering the skill involved for that type of work.

Michigan Man

Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 1:13 p.m.

Ouimet and Snyder, both Ann Arbor men, getting it done for Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County and the fine people of the State of Michigan. Real winners, however, will be the patients/families taken care of by the U of M Health System.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 7:01 p.m.

Neither of whom had anything to do with this. Good Night and Good Luck


Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 2:46 p.m.

Snyder and Ouimet had nothing to do with this. This was in the works for the better part of a decade. What is with the inaccurate posts today?


Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 1:23 p.m.

I'm curious as to why you attribute this to Ouimet and Snyder.


Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 1:10 p.m.

So while adding a 750 million dollar building and hiring 500 new people, they expect the nurses union to give up concessions on their benefits? This, when doctors in around here are millionaires, and there is plenty of money and growth, yet the squeeze is put on the folks who are middle class.


Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 4:31 p.m.

Please, no one is squeezing the nurses. They are being ask to take the same benefit package the rest of us have. Get over it! I don't remember the nurses complaining or willing to help out during their last contract when on two occasion we the non-nursing got no pay raise. Get the facts right too about doctors. Most here are paid by the number of RVU (Relative Value Units) they generate, in other words, they get paid for the work they actually do. I see this type of appeal similar to Jury nullification, when you can win on actual facts you appeal to peoples emotions.

Elaine F. Owsley

Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 1:05 p.m.

Perhaps those in the community who sneer at the impact the University of Michigan and all it's divisions, including the Health System, will now be willing to acknowledge the worth of its presence in the economy of this region.


Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 6:51 p.m.

What the U didn't tell us is how many jobs they cut in other parts of the medical system, or even elsewhere in the U, to minimize the additional cost of these hires. The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away. The net gain is likely much smaller when this is taken into account. They love to rob Peter to pay Paul. Mary Sue is a master at this.

Steve Pepple

Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 11:36 a.m.

An error in the story has been corrected. Thank you to the readers who pointed it out.

Tom Whitaker

Tue, Jul 5, 2011 : 3:14 p.m.

Best practices in online journalism dictate that corrections, additions, and updates be highlighted with a different color text, with the initial text remaining with a strike-through line. How many readers take in erroneous information, but never return to re-read an entire article, assuming it hasn't changed since it was first posted? It's time for to adopt best practices and stop covering up its mistakes.