TWO MONTHS AND counting.
The new UPHS hospital on US-41 is scheduled to open in April. No specific date announced yet.
The painting’s being finished up, furniture installed, cosmetic touches added. Occupancy will actually start in March.
But the actual move of the patients in April? That’ll be interesting.
All of them, likely about 100 or so, will be transported, via ambulances from around the UP, to the new facility in the early morning hours (likely a Sunday) before most of us take to the roads.
A caravan of sorts, carried out with military-like precision, to insure the safety of the patients, and the least disruption to the city.
And what they’ll find upon arrival will be much different from the old Marquette General Hospital.
First–and this certainly isn’t the most important feature–visitors will notice the Bistro on Baraga on the first floor. Not a cafeteria but an actual restaurant with a storefront sign and its own brand. Including a chef’s table featured item where the chef will serve it up in the front of the customers.
But, in case you were wondering, no liquor. Not appropriate in a hospital.
Second, fireplaces. Yup. One at the main entrance, and another in the comprehensive cancer care unit. Warm, cozy, comforting.
Third, a coffee shop and gift shop run by the Beacon House.
Fourth–and now we get to the more substantive stuff. All single patient rooms, whereas the current hospital is double occupancy.
Fifth–and this might be the surprising part. The new hospital will actually be much smaller than the current one. Only about 650,000 square feet, compared to over a million square feet. Why? How? Massive inefficiencies in space at the old hospital, tailored usage of space at the new one. Finding patients and departments will be much easier. More important, the new, more compact layout will benefit doctors and nurses.
Sixth, another reduction. The bed count will decline from 300 to 233. Typically, the hospital has 130-200 patients in house. No need to have all those empty, unused beds.
Which leads us to the Seventh point: The eighth floor for now will remain just a shell. No furniture, beds, nothing. If and when an expansion of the hospital is needed, it’ll be ready.
Finally, Eighth. UPHS will be making a significant investment in art. Commissioned pieces that will appear in high visibility areas, and local art that will be displayed on a rotating basis at multiple locations throughout the hospital.
So, yeah, this hospital’s gonna be more appealing to the eye…and to the palate.
Far more important, though, of course, is the care for the patients. We’ll expect skilled and caring doctors, nurses and techs, state-of-the-art technology, and reasonable rates. That’s how this $300 million investment will ultimately be judged. UPHS knows that. So does the community.
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