Chi Heart & Surgery Center – A new era for mid-Michigan heart care

When Ingham Hospital opened in 1913, it filled a void in the community as a 10-bed care facility that helped Ingham county residents survive the WrightBob-smalldevastation of tuberculosis. Over the years, as tuberculosis left our community and heart disease emerged as the number one cause of death, our hospital also evolved. In the early 1960s, it was visionaries President Edward McRee and A.L. Stanley, MD, who combined our heritage as a leading chest hospital with cardiac innovation. History was made when Seong Chi, MD joined our medical staff and teamed up with lung and chest specialist, Dr. Stanley, to perform mid-Michigan’s first open heart procedure at Ingham Medical Hospital in 1966.

As we prepare to unveil the new $50 million Chi Heart & Surgery Center at Ingham Regional Medical Center this summer, we draw upon the rich legacy of our heart program. It was Dr. Chi’s pioneering spirit and commitment to clinical excellence that set the standard for heart care in mid-Michigan.  Our five-story, 158,000 square foot Chi Heart & Surgery Center is in tribute to Dr. Chi.

When complete, the Chi Heart & Surgery Center will increase the size of Ingham Regional Medical Center by 24 percent.  This state-of-the-art medical facility will include 10 new operating rooms, five new cardiac catheterization labs, a new surgical intensive care unit, a larger cardiac diagnostic area, an expanded radiology department, and 30 private patient rooms.

The significance of the Chi Heart & Surgery Center will be realized when those affected by heart disease include family members, friends and colleagues right here in mid-Michigan.  Each week, approximately 25 area residents arrive in our emergency room because of a heart attack or congestive heart failure. Another 100 patients are admitted weekly for heart disease and, at any given time, about 300 inpatient and outpatient cardiac rehabilitation visits are recorded at Ingham Regional each week.

It was this upward trend in cardiac patient admissions that prompted us to conduct a feasibility study for the Chi Heart & Surgery Center expansion and apply for a State of Michigan Certificate of Need. Our concern was to determine whether or not there was a legitimate need for the hospital’s expansion, or would it be duplicating services in the community?

Ultimately, the review and research process underscored the importance for us to expand our hospital. The research highlighted the growing demand for cardiac services as the result of an aging population and poor health habits statewide. Every seven minutes, a baby boomer reaches age 50. Here in the tri-county area, more than 132,000 of our 450,000 residents are age 45 or older, a time in life when healthcare issues and treatments begin to escalate. This combination points to a growing number of individuals in the Greater Lansing community requiring cardiac care in their lifetime, despite new advancements in treatments.

Another factor involved in determining community need for the Chi Heart & Surgery Center was the necessity of attracting and retaining specialized medical personnel. Already staffed with a proficient cardiac surgical team, we recognized the impact that a quality, state-of-the-art facility would have on our capability to compete nationally to attract additional top cardiac specialists.

Finally, the pervasive use of new technologies and enhanced diagnostic tools required facilities that could accommodate them in size, scope and complexity. To continue offering leading edge cardiac services, we would need to allocate additional space that only an expansion could support.

While these factors represented just a part of the overall consideration for the expansion, they substantiated a legitimate need in our region for the Chi Heart & Surgery Center to deliver premier heart care services for patients in mid-Michigan and beyond. Furthermore, it made economical sense for the region to support the expansion of a successful cardiac program that is long recognized as one of the best in the nation. Ingham Regional Medical Center is the only mid-Michigan hospital designated as a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) Cardiac Center of Excellence, a designation awarded to us for 11 consecutive years. In addition, we are the only Michigan hospital to receive the national Premier Award for Quality in the clinical area of Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) for two consecutive years. Both awards are based on performance measured by quality clinical outcomes.

As we look ahead to the opening of the Chi Heart & Surgery Center in the coming months, it is significant to note that Ingham Regional Medical Center’s heart program is more than a new building with leading edge medical equipment. Instead, this heart program was built on a legacy of high standards for quality and the continuous pursuit of improvements for patient care. It has always been our commitment to improve the health status of area residents, and also to provide world-class care that will help the capital region attract and recruit new people to the area. We believe the Chi Heart & Surgery Center furthers this goal.

Robert N.Wright is the president and CEO of

Ingham Regional Medical Center.








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