BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — In October 2020, St Luke’s Hospital officially became part of the McLaren Health Care System, and a plan is underway to invest $100 million into capital upgrades to the local community hospital.
McLaren St. Luke’s CEO Jennifer Montgomery served as guest speaker at the March 9 Maumee Chamber of Commerce Zoom luncheon, where she outlined plans currently underway for the hospital.
“McLaren seeks to be a Midwest organization helping local communities in the Midwest area. Part of McLaren’s philosophy is trying to make the community hospital support what the community needs are,” she said.
The McLaren system encompasses 15 hospitals in Michigan and Ohio, a physician network with 490 members, 28,000 employees and insurance plans in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana that cover 90,000 individuals.
St. Luke’s remains a nonprofit organization with a board that maintains local control and reports bimonthly to a corporate board, she said.
The $100 million capital investments will include upgrades and facility beautification projects and investments into accreditations and designations. Next year, the hospital will reopen the Surgi-Care outpatient surgery facility and an MRI facility at Regency Court. In addition, all public areas at the hospital, including the visitors’ entrance and outpatient registration, will be under construction. The clinical care areas, intensive care units and emergency room spaces will also be renovated in 2022.
The hospital is also making a $1.9 million investment for the purchase of new equipment for laparoscopic and arthroscopic procedures, including those for the gall bladder, appendix, knees and shoulders. The technology will allow 4K resolution for improved picture quality and ICG fluorescence imaging that allows visualization of blood flow, Montgomery said.
“It will be the latest and greatest in technology,” she said.
The hospital also implemented a new app that allows individuals to schedule a trip to the emergency room for nonlife-threatening emergencies. The information can be found on the hospital’s website.
“I always say that it’s call-ahead seating in the ER. It’s been a very popular application with our other hospitals, so we are going to bring it to the Maumee area and see if it works well here, too,” Montgomery said.
There are 61 primary care and specialty care providers associated with St. Luke’s, and Waterville Family Physicians joined the group last month.
“One of McLaren’s goals is to make sure that we have primary care physicians and specialists located in neighborhoods and areas that are convenient for people to use. We really don’t want people to have to drive across town to get to their primary care physician,” she said.
The hospital is working toward several quality accreditations and awards, including the National Trauma Level III verification, which will follow national protocols to make the ER safer and more efficient. It would also allow patients to be treated in a standardized fashion during what is known as the “golden hour,” Montgomery said.
“During that first hour, we want to make sure that a lot of things happen, and this ensures that a faster and fuller recovery from whatever your accident has been,” she explained.
The hospital also plans to focus on neuro-interventions for stroke care, orthopedic service and chest pain accreditation for heart emergencies.
“Don’t delay health care and don’t delay screenings,” Montgomery advised. “I would hate to see someone delay and we see you three months down the line and it’s a very different situation than it would be if we would see you today.”
Community involvement will also continue as the hospital plans to support several local initiatives and events including the Hometown Hero Award, the Maumee Summer Fair, the Fallen Timbers Battlefield project and health screenings and education programming at the Maumee Senior Center.