Froedtert & the Medical College plan small-scale ‘neighborhood hospital’ in Mequon

Designed to ease capacity constraints at Froedtert Hospital

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:51 pm

The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network is planning a new small-scale “neighborhood hospital” across the street from its recently-opened health center on North Port Washington Road in Mequon.

A rendering of Froedtert’s planned neighborhood hospital on North Port Washington Road in Mequon.

The 17,000-square-foot hospital will include a seven-bed emergency department and eight inpatient beds. It’s planned for a parcel of vacant land on North Port Washington Road, directly across the street from the Froedtert & MCW Mequon Health Center at 11430 N. Port Washington Road.

The hospital will be a joint venture between Froedtert and Tandem Hospital Partners, a Houston, Texas-based firm that operates several other neighborhood hospitals across the country.

It’s designed to ease some of the capacity constraints at the Froedtert health network’s flagship hospital in Wauwatosa. Prior to the opening of Froedtert’s new 92,000-square-foot Mequon Health Center, as many as a dozen patients traveled daily from Mequon to Froedtert Hospital for care, said Cathy Jacobson, president and chief executive officer of Froedtert Health.

The facility is designed to treat medical emergencies that require attention beyond an urgent care clinic’s capability. It will also include laboratory, pharmacy and imaging services.

“Our hospitals continue to experience extremely high occupancy rates, particularly at the academic medical center campus, and there’s no indication that trend will change anytime soon,” said Jacobson. “We see the neighborhood hospital as a way to keep care close to home and free up beds, particularly at Froedtert Hospital. It’s part of a broader plan to address our capacity constraints by expanding access points and offering care options that meet people where they are.”

So-called neighborhood hospitals are a growing trend as health systems look to offer more cost-effective and streamlined care in settings that are closer to patients, Jacobson said. This would be the first such hospital in the state.

Froedtert leaders visited neighborhood hospitals in Kansas City and Indianapolis when exploring the possibility of opening one locally, Jacobson said.

“Health care can’t continue in the way that we’re doing it today,” Jacobson said. “The cost structures are just too high, so we’re willing to take a shot at a different and innovative model.”

Medical College of Wisconsin emergency physicians and registered nurses will staff the neighborhood hospital.

Construction on the project is scheduled to begin later this year with projected opening in late 2019 or early 2020.

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