County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Here to Stay, Medical Center to Expand and Remain Downtown


CLARE – After several months of planning and review, including a six-month economic impact study, a decision has been made about the future of MyMichigan Medical Center Clare. Having served the community for more than 70 years, the Medical Center plans to remain in its existing downtown location and will proceed with an expansion and revitalization of its current facility. Construction is expected to begin in 2025.

 “We are here to stay! The trust we have built with the Clare community is nothing short of amazing. Through our review of project options, feedback from neighbors and data gathered with our recent study, we heard loud and clear just how important it was to remain right where we are - right in the heart of our beautiful downtown,” said Marita Hattem-Schiffman, president of MyMichigan Medical Centers in Clare, Alma and Mt. Pleasant. “What’s more, there are just so many benefits being positioned here near outstanding businesses and established traffic corridors that serve surrounding communities. This allows us to continue to serve not just those here in Clare, but all those beyond our great county with ease of access to our Medical Center and our services.”

 Hattem-Schiffman continued, “As you can imagine, with a project of this size and scope, we have been hard at work analyzing many opportunities and determined that we have adequate property and available space in our current location to build out new areas and then undergo a revitalization of what remains. This construction is not about renovating something old – we are building new and comprehensively renovating what remains.”

 The overall project is expected to cost approximately $52 million with construction to occur in up to four phases, beginning with the Emergency Department. The next step is detailed design work which is anticipated to take 12 months.

 “Financial pressures on rural hospitals across the nation create perilous threats to care, and that is one more reason that a phased approach in our current location is the best direction. However, no matter the phases involved, for the good of all those we serve, we have and remain committed to replacing our aging Medical Center,” Hattem-Schiffman.

 Next steps for the project include acquiring detailed design work necessary to validate cost and time, as well as needed to bid out the construction. Once design is complete, approvals will then be obtained from the Medical Center’s Board of Directors and then by the health system’s board in order to obtain project funding.

 “Like you, we are all anxious for this project to get underway. We expect construction to officially begin in 2025,” said Glenn King, R.N., vice president of nursing, MyMichigan Medical Center Clare. “And, as always, we will ensure any disruptions to our patients, community and staff will be minimal and communicated well in advance.”

As part of today’s announcement, Hattem-Schiffman acknowledged inquiries received by the community on recent headlines surrounding the “Complete Health Park” project.

 “It’s important to also acknowledge today that we have received many questions and are aware that the Complete Health Park project has, at times, been confused with our own plans for the future of our Medical Center. We want to reiterate to our community that we are not involved or associated with Complete Health Park in any way. Our efforts are our own and that is to provide the excellent care our communities deserve today, tomorrow and in the future. The opportunity to announce our plans to the public today is a great milestone in our history here and we are ready to set the next steps into motion so that we can begin this next chapter of serving our community.”

 Named a Top Rural Hospital in 2021, the 49-licensed bed Medical Center in Clare has more than 300 employees, volunteers, physicians and other personnel. It offers a full range of services in specialty areas including diabetes, emergency care, adult trauma, heart and vascular services, hyperbaric oxygen, infusion services, neurosciences, occupational health, ophthalmology, orthopedics, primary care, pulmonology, rehab services, sleep disorders, spine and pain, surgery, women’s health and wound treatment.

“This is an exciting time for our community and our entire region,” said Hattem-Schiffman. “The future is bright and MyMichigan is leading the way to a healthier community for everyone to enjoy for many, many years to come.”

MyMichigan Health, a non-profit health system headquartered in Midland, Michigan, is a leader in providing award-winning, high-quality care to the 25-county region it serves. With Medical Centers in Alma, Alpena, Clare, Gladwin, Midland, Mt. Pleasant, Sault Ste. Marie and West Branch, MyMichigan also has affiliations with Medical Centers in St. Ignace* and Mackinac Island*. MyMichigan Health provides a full continuum of care across a wide array of settings, including urgent care centers, home health, virtual care, as well as medical offices in more than 80 specialties and subspecialties including cardiology, family medicine, hematology/oncology, neurosciences, orthopedics, pediatrics, vascular surgery, and more. MyMichigan Health demonstrates its commitment to the future of medicine by partnering with leading institutions to offer medical education programs that train medical students, physicians, nurse practitioner and physician assistant students, nursing students and other clinical experts for our region. Recognized by Forbes in 2022 as one of ‘America’s Best Employers by State,’ MyMichigan is a major employer in all of the areas it serves. In fact, its more than 10,180 employees, volunteers, health care providers and other personnel work together to create healthy communities through solutions designed to meet the ever-changing needs of the 981,000 residents in the health system’s 25-county service area. In fiscal year 2022, MyMichigan Health provided $132 million in community benefits, as well as supported its patients and families with new equipment, services and programs with funds raised by the MyMichigan Health Foundation.


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