A common measure of quality of life in a community is the availability, access and quality of health care services. While the City of Kalamazoo does not directly provide health care services, there are many health care providers in the community. The following information was collected through a series of telephone surveys with health care officials, and from the Kalamazoo County Healthier Community Assessment report prepared by the Public Sector Consultants.

1. General Hospital Facilities

The general hospitals in Kalamazoo serve the needs of a relatively large population.

 Bronson Hospital's main facility is located in downtown Kalamazoo, while an outpatient facility is located on Crosstown Parkway. Bronson Hospital has developed a major redevelopment and consolidation plan, part of which has already been implemented. The expansion plans are major and will have a dramatic impact on the appearance of the CBD and the adjacent residential neighborhoods.

 The Bronson Healthcare Campus Plan (Figure X-2) includes the consolidation of the inpatient and outpatient operations on one downtown campus. The existing hospital campus is bounded by Lovell Street on the north, Jasper Street on the east, Walnut Street on the south, and John Street on the west. The proposed Healthcare Campus will be expanded south one block and eastward to include the Portage Creek. Bronson Hospital is willing to participate with the City and Pharmacia (formerly Upjohn Company) to redevelop and beautify the Portage Creek. Because the new Healthcare Campus will be oriented towards the south side of the CBD, the hospital views the Portage Creek as an under-utilized natural feature.

(Figure X-2)

 The current ten-story hospital, on the corner of John and Lovell Streets, will be demolished and new facilities will be completed by the year 2001. The hospital has no plans for the site where the current hospital stands, and hopes to sell it for commercial development. Once the consoli-dation plan is complete, the outpatient facility on Crosstown Parkway will become vacant.

 While the current hospital has 443 licensed beds, the new inpatient facility will have approximately 250 licensed beds. Bronson currently has approximately 2,100 employees and projects that this figure will remain stable during and after the redevelopment project is complete.

With approximately 3,000 visitors per day, the hospital is anxious to improve its image and the areas surrounding their campus. The following describes some of the Bronson Healthcare Campus plan recommendations:

  • The Montessori School, offering classes from pre-school through fifth grade;
  • The Kazoo School, offering classes from kindergarten through eighth grade;
  • The Gagie School, offering classes from kindergarten through eighth grade;
  • Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital-Young Adult Program, offering classes from seventh through twelfth grade.

 3. Projected Improvements to Public, Parochial and Independent Facilities

Several public school closings occurred during the late 1970's and 1980's; seven elementary schools were closed, one was converted to the Vine Alternative High School, and two middle schools were converted to elementary schools. Of the closed schools, two have been demolished, two are leased and/or used for storage, and two have been sold to other entities. No public school facilities have closed in the past five years, nor are any additional facilities slated for closing in the foreseeable future. The Kalamazoo Public Schools have indicated that over the next ten years, there may be a need for an additional elementary school in Oshtemo Township to accommodate increased development on the west side of the community.

 As discussed in the 1977 Comprehensive Plan, the newest public elementary school, Oakwood Elementary, was built in 1963, while the oldest, Washington, was built in 1919. Most schools now require improvements and/or expansions to meet current needs. All public and private school facilities require improvements throughout to comply with barrier-free ADA requirements. The following school facilities have major improvements scheduled over the next five years. The major improvements described below are required to accommodate planned enrollment expansions at these four elementary schools to include fourth, fifth and sixth grade classes.

  • Construction of new office complex on Vine Street;
  • Increase accessibility to the hospital by allowing two-way traffic on Lovell and Burdick Streets;
  • Upgrade housing along Dutton Street, linked with the redevelopment of Portage Creek and the Bank Street Market;
  • Improve image of gateways such as Portage Street;

Figure X-2

 Bronson Healthcare Campus Plan

Borgess Medical Center's main hospital facility is located on 1521 Gull Road. The main campus consists of a 426 bed hospital and trauma center, an emergency services building, Institute for Cardiovascular Health, Lawrence Education Center, St. Lukes Apartments (currently leased by the County), and accessory parking lots. Borgess recently announced plans to renovate the old Nazareth College Sports Complex to create a Health & Fitness Center, scheduled to open in late 1997. The remodeled facility will be 83,000 square feet and offer comprehensive rehabilitation and fitness services to the community.

 Borgess Medical Center also owns and operates seven other facilities in the City of Kalamazoo. These include a laundry services building, medical administration offices, an occupational rehabilitation program, a physical therapy program, the West Michigan Cancer Center, the Borgess Nursing Home, and the Michigan State University - Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies (jointly owned by MSU, Borgess and Bronson hospitals). Borgess employs approximately 1,600 people at the facilities throughout the community, and anticipates their workforce to remain constant over the next several years.

2. Mental Health Facilities

Community Mental Health services are provided throughout the state by Community Mental Health Boards (CMHBs) that are required to provide six essential services to the community: 1) 24-hour crisis response; 2) prevention programs; 3) outpatient care; 4) aftercare programs; 5) day programs; and, 6) public education. Approximately 4,000 people are serviced each year by the Kalamazoo County CMHB at facilities on Gull Road and North Burdick Street. In addition, the Kalamazoo CMHB provides services through contracts with the agencies listed below:

ACT of Kalamazoo Center for Developmentally Disabled Adults

Douglas Community Association Family & Children Services

Gryphon Place, Inc. The Guidance Clinic

Hope Network Judson Center

Kalamazoo Consultation Center Keystone, Inc.

Living Ways, Inc. MRC Industries, Inc.

Residential Opportunities, Inc. Residential Treatment of West Michigan, Inc.

Senior Services, Inc.

In addition to the Kalamazoo County CMHB, mental health programs are offered through Borgess Medical Center's Delano Clinic and the Kalamazoo Regional Psychiatric Center. The Delano Clinic has 54 inpatient beds at the Borgess Medical Center and offers a full range of outpatient mental health services. While Borgess has expansions planned at the Portage and Plainwell facilities, no major improvements are planned for the inpatient facilities on Gull Road nor the outpatient facilities on Schaffer Street.

The Kalamazoo Regional Psychiatric Center, formerly the Kalamazoo State Hospital, is the largest provider of inpatient mental health services in the region. The center currently has approximately 150 patients, a level expected to remain constant over the next 2 years. However, over the long-term, inpatient services will likely be reduced, depending on the ability of other community mental health facilities to provide outpatient services. It is expected that the Kalamazoo Regional Psychiatric Center will reduce the number of patients to around 125 over the long-run. The center currently employs 430 employees. If the number of patients decreases, the number of employees will subsequently be reduced.

 The main campus of the Kalamazoo Regional Psychiatric Center is located on a 250-acre parcel on Oakland Drive. In addition to the main campus, the center owns a vacant building (which formerly served as a 200-bed unit) on a 10-acre site on Blakeslee Street. The center has been marketing the site for sale and redevelopment for a number of years.

3. Nursing Homes

Five nursing homes are located in the City of Kalamazoo. Table X-2 provides the list of nursing homes, the number of long-term care licensed beds and occupancy rates. Because nursing homes are often located within residential neighborhoods, special attention must be given to how these facilities operate in relation to surrounding land uses.
Table X-2

4. Family Health Centers

Kalamazoo has two health centers within the City. The Family Health Center, Inc., located on West Patterson Street, is an independent, non-profit community health center which has been in operation for 20 years. The clinic runs the Women Infants Children Supplemental Food Program (WIC), Medicaid Well-Child Screening, Health Care for the Homeless, and primary health care services. In addition to its facility on West Patterson Street, the Family Health Center, Inc. operates the Edison School-Based Health Center in cooperation with the Kalamazoo Public Schools and several local agencies. The Edison School-Based Health Center is located on Russell Street in the Edison Elementary School. The center offers health screening exams, immunization, referral for specialized treatment, dental services, lab services, health education, and counseling. Only Edison School students who are registered by their parent/guardian may receive services through the health center.

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