Facility potentially to become neuroscience center creating 300 jobs
The Wayne County Commission April 14 approved County Executive Warren Evans’ recommendation to provide $500,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to convert a vacant hospital in Lincoln Park to serve as an 80-bed overflow hospital amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The approval clears the way for Insight Surgical Hospital to overhaul the Vibra Hospital with the capacity to grow from 80 to 440 beds as needed to deal with the situation.
Insight Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience will convert the vacant hospital in Lincoln Park and use its existing Certificate of Need to quickly open with an 80-bed capacity as soon as April 17. The facility has the potential to grow into a 440-bed facility as needed to help accommodate COVID-19 patients during this crisis.
“Many hospitals are at capacity, we must continue to act quickly amid this crisis to support our health care system,” Evans said. “Insight Surgical Hospital can provide immediate relief in Wayne County through increased beds and help decrease the chance of COVID-19 exceeding overall capacity. Over the long-term, there is also great potential here as a state-of-the-art neuroscience center in Lincoln Park.”
“It is critical that we bring every resource we can to bear as we fight the devastating impact of COVID-19,” Commission Chairwoman Alisha Bell (D-Detroit) said. “Through today’s action, we are putting an important resource back into use at this very important time in everyone’s life.”
The 128,000 square-foot Vibra Hospital is located on a 14-acre site on West Outer Drive in Lincoln Park. The $500,000 is part of the CDBG funds allocated to Wayne County under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act of 2020.
“This facility has been underutilized for years.” Lincoln Park Mayor Thomas Karnes said. “Located on Outer Drive it is ideally positioned to create hospital space for patients from Downriver and Detroit as COVID-19 cases surge.
“Beyond serving an important role in the regional response to COVID-19, we are excited for the long-term prospects at this site. Having a functioning hospital there again would spur other investment and also provide a boost to some of the important development under way in that area of Lincoln Park.”
Commissioner Ilona Varga (D-Lincoln Park) said the grant shows county officials are unified in their desire to help patients and health care providers.
“If this pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that we must all join together to find ways to meet the needs of those affected by COVID-19 and those who care for them,” she said. “The community is so deserving to have this hospital functioning again and that is why we moved so quickly on this issue. I am grateful to those who have come together to make this happen.”
“The COVID-19 crisis of 2020 is an existential threat to our community. It has consumed the collective resources of our country, the repercussions of which will be felt for generations,” said Dr. Jawad Shah, a renowned board-certified neurosurgeon and the CEO of Insight, and Chair of the Board of Directors of Insight Surgical Hospital. “Time is of the essence for all in the health care community to respond to this unprecedented challenge to save precious lives. We hope that Insight, through God’s grace, can participate in the mosaic of care needed to respond to the urgent needs of our community.”
After its usage for COVID-19, the facility would potentially be converted into a state-of-the-art surgical specialty center with a focus on neuroscience. Insight Surgical Hospital plans to invest $1.5 million in short-term renovations and $20 million over the long-term, and expects to create more than 300 jobs at the facility.
INN is part of the Insight Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience, which has medical facilities in the cities of Warren and Flint.