The U-M Health System plans to build a new health center to provide expanded clinics, primary and specialty care and other health care services in the west Ann Arbor area.
The $46 million project, approved Thursday by the Board of Regents, will be built in Scio Township on Little Lake Drive, just west of Ann Arbor.
UMHS operates the existing West Ann Arbor Health Center in a 6,000-square-foot facility located on Jackson Road in leased space. The new West Ann Arbor Health Center will be constructed on 13.9 acres donated to the university in 2010, about 1.5 miles from the current West Ann Arbor Health Center.
“The number of patients visiting our clinics has increased steadily over time and is now nearing 2 million visits each year,” says Jeanne Rizzo, executive director for ambulatory care services at UMHS.
“This project will allow us to meet increased demand for our high-quality care and improve our patients’ experience. This new building also will allow us to introduce additional specialty and diagnostic services as well as infusion to serve this important community located in our backyard.”
Approval provides the go-ahead for architectural design and application for a certificate of need from the Michigan Department of Community Health.
Currently, U-M offers general medicine, general pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology and blood-draw services in the Jackson Road facility, which has 12 exam rooms. The new facility is expected to greatly expand capacity and include specialty services in multiple areas including allergy, cardiology, gastroenterology, neurology, ophthalmology and psychiatry, along with infusion, radiology and diagnostic imaging services.
“We are thrilled to move ahead with this project. Currently we are hindered by a lack of space that impacts our ability to add new providers and bring together many of the services to further meet patient demand,” says Debi Zahn, U-M’s ambulatory care administrator.
“We know the demand for our high-quality care exists. Our new patient-appointment volume has increased steadily and this new facility will help us serve more patients in a timely manner.”
Plans call for construction to be complete in September 2017, with the building scheduled to open in late fall 2017. UMHS will fund this project. The project is expected to create more than 50 on-site construction jobs.
UMHS is consistently working to improve patient access and has opened several new facilities that increased clinical capacity, including the 100,000-square-foot primary and specialty care Northville Health Center in Northville. That facility, which opened in summer 2014, has improved access to U-M care for patients in metro Detroit.
“We are excited by the opportunity to expand our services to the communities on the west side of Ann Arbor and look forward to working with our new neighbors in Scio Township,” Rizzo says.