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Laura Blodgett, Media Relations
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
St. Joseph Mercy Saline to adapt Emergency Department to Urgent Care
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St. Joseph Mercy Saline to adapt Emergency Department to Urgent Care
Other service changes to occur as well to better reflect community usage

SALINE, Mich. – (Dec. 12, 2013) In response to changing healthcare patterns in the Saline community, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) has decided to convert the Emergency Department at St. Joseph Mercy Saline, located at 400 Russell St. in Saline, to a 12-hour urgent care center effective April 15, 2014.
In addition, the following outpatient services – radiology services such as CT scans, vascular, mammography and ultrasound -- will be consolidated to St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor (SJMAA). Physical therapy and occupational therapy services are currently under evaluation.
The community health center onsite will continue as a resource for education, nutrition and preventive health services. Some outpatient services will continue, including lab draw services and general diagnostics/x-rays.
This decision provides a more cost-effective and appropriate level of care based on the acuity level of patients seen at the Saline Emergency Department. With continued declining volume at St. Joseph Mercy Saline between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., it is no longer feasible to maintain a full service emergency center 24 hours a day seven days a week.
"These difficult but necessary business decisions are part of our ongoing work to better meet the needs of a changing marketplace so we can sustain our ability to serve the health needs of our communities," said Rob Casalou, president and CEO, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Livingston, who oversees operations at Saline. "We have served the Saline community for the past 50 years and will continue to do so. However, we must be willing to adapt services based on community patterns in order to continue fulfilling our healing mission."
Casalou explained that the health system conducted extensive consumer research, a community needs assessment and met with community physicians to fully understand the needs of Saline residents. As a faith-based organization, the health system also went through a Mission Discernment process – an internal review that carefully weighs St. Joe's mission of being a healing organization against business realities.
An urgent care costs patients less than an ER visit and fills a need in the community for non-emergency services such as ankle sprains, wounds requiring stitches and illness such as a cold or flu. For emergency services, the Emergency Department at SJMAA is less than 11 miles from Saline and shares a dedicated common medical staff. SJMAA has the capacity to care for this patient population with no added wait times. As a Level II trauma center and certified stroke center with a specialized Senior ER and Pediatric ED, SJMAA offers more services than St. Joseph Mercy Saline is able to provide. SJMHS is exploring opportunities to provide transportation to those in need of access to St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor who may be limited by traditional transportation needs. Another option is Chelsea Community Hospital's Emergency Department, which is less than 30 minutes away.
Eventually, SJMHS is considering relocation of the Saline Urgent Care center to a more convenient location within the Saline community.
These actions are anticipated to affect some full-time and part-time positions and contingent employees. Employees affected by the service consolidation will be offered similar positions at SJMAA and other facilities within SJMHS as available. SJMHS will be working closely with employees to place them in other positions within SJMHS, or provide outplacement support, including assistance in finding employment if necessary.
"We are extremely grateful to the physicians and staff who have faithfully served the community, and hope the same spirit will continue with the urgent care," said Casalou.
Saline Hospital opened in 1959 as a full service hospital built by the local community and for the local community. By the mid-1980s, both U of M Hospital and SJMAA had grown services to the point that residents were using the Saline hospital less and less. In 1991, the hospital merged with SJMHS in order to continue serving southern Washtenaw County. However, usage continued declining and services had to be discontinued for lack of volume. The inpatient unit closed in 2010; the surgical center closed in 2012.
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About Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) is a health care organization serving six counties in southeast Michigan including Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne. It includes 537-bed St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, 443-bed St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, 304-bed St. Mary Mercy Livonia, 136-bed St. Joseph Mercy Livingston in Howell, 119-bed St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron and 113-bed Chelsea Community Hospital. Combined, the six hospitals are licensed for 1,726 beds, have six outpatient health centers, six urgent care facilities, more than 25 specialty centers; employ more than 14,000 individuals and have a medical staff of nearly 3,200 physicians.

SJMHS is a member of CHE Trinity Health, one of the largest Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 21 states from coast to coast with 84 hospitals, 95 continuing care facilities and home health and hospice programs that provide nearly 2.4 million visits annually. The organization was formed by the May 2013 consolidation of Trinity Health and Catholic Healthcare East.

For more information on health services offered at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, please visit

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St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor | 5301 McAuley Drive, Ypsilanti, MI 48197 | 734-712-3456