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Metro Health Announces Plans for New Cancer Services

Posted: September 27, 2007

Grand Rapids, Michigan, September 27, 2007 – On the eve its move to a new state of the art
hospital in suburban Wyoming,
Metro Health
has announced plans to expand its cancer services.

Metro
has filed a letter of intent beginning the process of seeking state approval
for a primary cancer care facility. The
proposed location on a wooded lot in Metro
Health Village
is within a short walk of the new Metro
Health Hospital,
which opens this Sunday.

The
plans are necessary to meet changing needs, Metro Health President Michael Faas
said: "It will allow us to offer everyday cancer services, such as physician
office visits and therapy, in a pleasant, less hectic, non-institutional
setting. This is something patients have
been asking for and Metro
Health Village
provides the opportunity for us to create this therapeutic healing
environment."

"Even though we are moving to a new facility in a
new location, our focus remains on primary and secondary care and on
collaborating with other institutions to meet additional patient needs. But, as specialty care expands in this region
and technology changes, the boundaries of what are considered primary care and
secondary care are changing."

The 21,500-square-foot primary cancer care facility will
be located on the secluded southeast corner of Metro Health
Village. Services will focus on primary cancer care,
featuring space for office visits with oncologists, chemotherapy and radiation
therapy. Patients needing more
specialized cancer services will continue to be referred to other providers as appropriate.

The cancer services will be offered in collaboration
with Cancer and Hematology Centers of West Michigan. One of the group’s partners, oncologist/hematologist
Michael Zakem, DO, will locate his office in the facility. Adding other local and regional partners is a
possibility if it can further enhance patient care.

Zakem, a longtime member of the Metro Health
Hospital staff, remarked
that this longtime affiliation is the key to his personal involvement. "Oncology services are an important part of
today’s practice of medicine, and we intend to offer them on our campus for the
convenience of the more than 130,000 patients who rely on our health system for
their care," he said. "Furthermore,
patients who have chosen our health system over others tell us that they want
us to provide this service for them.
Their needs are what this is all about-it’s just the right thing to do
because it’s putting patients first."

The
project is the fourth in recent months announced by Metro Health. Metro is currently seeking state approval to add an additional
hospital-based cardiac catheterization lab, has begun construction on a new
outpatient center in Hudsonville that will open in January and has announced
plans to locate an outpatient surgical center in northeast Kent County.

"These
ventures are just a logical extension of the primary and secondary care mission
of Metro Health," according to Paul Gauthier, a Lowell
family physician who is chief of staff at Metro Health
Hospital. "The need is very evident and so is the
justification. Delivering traditionally
hospital-based services in offsite centers in the community is now commonplace
in health care. The patients of Metro
Health deserve the same convenience."

Summarizing
the announcement of Metro’s next stage of growth, President Mike Faas said:
"This move to Metro
Health Village
requires different thinking by us and the community, because the region we
serve is changing and the development itself creates new possibilities. We need more of the type of innovation and
creativity represented by these projects.
The result will be improvements in access and convenience that are very
consistent with Metro’s goals of providing the best patient experience and the
best community experience."

Earlier
this year Metro submitted data to the state demonstrating it meets the patient
volume criteria to be considered for a certificate of need for the cancer
services it wishes to offer. The state
certified Metro’s data, so today Metro Health will file a letter of intent and
plans to submit a formal certificate of need request for a linear accelerator by
November 1.

# # #

 

About Metro Health
Metro Health’s
services include a general acute care hospital that serves more than 130,000
patients in Kent
and surrounding counties and 10 neighborhood outpatient centers located
throughout the region. Metro
Health Hospital
offers a broad range of services, including inpatient and outpatient care,
emergency, surgery, intensive care, childbirth, rehabilitation, wellness and
community education. It provides
physician training in affiliation with Michigan State University College of
Osteopathic Medicine. The outpatient
centers offer primary care physician services and common outpatient services
such as physical therapy, lab, X-ray and mammography. Metro’s work is supported by the Metro
Health Hospital Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to improving
the health and well-being of the community through philanthropy. For more information, visit metrohealth.net.



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