Excellence in action

LAURIUM – Aspirus is committed to delivering a higher level of health care for patients close to home the Keweenaw hospital project is no exception.

The 34,000 sq. ft. addition/renovation project includes a new emergency center with expanded trauma, procedure and exam rooms; new ICU and in-patient hospital rooms, eight new pre- and post-surgical recovery suites, and upgraded technology and internal communication systems. The new emergency entrance will feature a drive-under canopy for patient drop-off. Designed with patients and visitors in mind, the new addition and renovation will increase privacy, efficiency and flow.

“The project is right on track and will live up to its promise of bringing an incredibly functional, cost-effective and efficient health care facility that is best suited for the care of our community,” said Chuck Nelson, Aspirus U.P. Regional CEO. “All in all, we are giving an already great medical team and community a world-class facility we can all be proud of.”

Miron Construction Co. broke ground on the three-phase project July 21. Phase one encompasses all new space and is expected to be complete July 2015. During phase two, the existing emergency department will be renovated into pre- and post-surgical suites. Phase three involves the remodel of the existing ICU into conference rooms, blood draw and a new entryway to registration. Target completion is set for spring 2016.

Project Superintendent John Griffin said Miron is widely known around the country for building excellence.

“In the past 10 years, Miron has completed in excess of $270 million in renovations and new healthcare-related construction, including the Aspirus Houghton Clinic that opened in June,” Griffin said. “Miron brings the expertise and the quality of their work is top-notch.

Miron hired more than 15 local sub-contractors, from plumbing and electrical to excavating and roofing.

Onsite Project Manager Regina Johnson said not only do local contractors bring quality workmanship, but a familiarity with local buildings and grounds.

“Many of the local contractors are already familiar with the hospital site. The electricians worked with Aspirus in the past and the roofing company has done all of their roofing,” Johnson said. “They’re very familiar with the conditions and the weather.”

On the heels of last winter’s Polar Vortex, work crews are prepared for inclement weather ahead. The new addition will be enclosed with reinforced plastic and temporary heaters will be placed inside to allow for cement pouring. Griffin said they’re going to adapt to keep the project moving forward.

“I can’t say enough about the local trades. With the weather we’ve been having they still keep the schedules going, working as hard as they do,” Griffin said.

“I tell these guys, ‘I’m only as good as what’s going on out there.'”

This past year has been an exciting time for Aspirus, having received two significant awards and implementing a new medical records system. Aspirus Keweenaw received the 2014 Governor’s Award of Excellence for significant achievements in health care quality and was named one of America’s Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals by the iVantage Strength INDEX. In late September, Aspirus Keweenaw upgraded to a new, state-of-the-art Electronic Health Records system (HER) called Epic. The new Epic system safely and securely brings seamless exchange of medical information between doctors across health care facilities.

Epic also gives patients a new health care portal called MyAspirus. With MyAspirus, patients can access their own medical records, schedule appointments, get test results and more.

Editor’s note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Aspirus. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.