Healthy growth

Hospital organizations expand for primary care demand

Posted on Aug 1, 2016 :: Construction
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

For those watching for new commercial construction in the New North, it’s easy to point to new medical facilities among the recent building projects.

Among the health organizations that have new and upcoming construction of satellite clinics in the New North are ThedaCare and Prevea Health. Health organization leaders say space needs driven by the demand for primary care and key specialty services are catalysts for the growth.

Prevea Health

Prevea Health, which partners with HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay, as well as other hospitals in Northeast and Western Wisconsin, has opened several new facilities, including a 14,700-square-foot clinic in Kohler. That project, opened June 27, was built with Kohler Co., says Dr. Ashok Rai, president and CEO of Prevea Health.

“We partnered with them on a unique site,” Rai says. “They wanted to run a medical center for their associates and their dependents, and also wanted to serve the needs of not only the village of Kohler but all the surrounding communities.”

The health center includes chiropractic care and urgent care services.

Prevea also opened the Holmgren Way Health Center in Ashwaubenon in February, a 14,500-square-foot clinic that offers reconstructive plastic surgery to both adults and children, medical weight loss and vision care. The facility consolidates these services under one roof, Rai says.

“We were basically shoehorning them into existing buildings without creating a center centered on patients, which was our overall goal,” he says.

Prevea also will add 13,614 square feet to its facility in Howard beginning this month, and in June finished a project adding 2,500 square feet to its 11,600-square-foot facility in Pulaski.

A shortage of primary care physicians in the region as well as demand for certain specialties fueled the growth, Rai says.

“We review needs every few years to make sure we’re fulfilling the needs of the communities which we serve, and the facility growth is really driven off that needs analysis,” Rai says.

Prevea is exploring other opportunities as well.

“As employers continue to look at lowering costs, we look at more partnerships as we’ve done not only with Kohler Co. but other companies,” Rai says.

The organization also plans to work with communities that are seeking more primary care and specialty representation.


ThedaCare completed its new 84,000-square-foot Regional Cancer Center in February at 2500 E. Capitol Dr. in Appleton. The organization also is in the process of constructing the new ThedaCare Neenah Clinic at 333 N. Green Bay Rd., set to open in January or February next year.

The $25.6 million, 73,000-square-foot clinic, being constructed by Boldt Construction Co., will replace several primary care locations, says Jeff Mitchell, vice president of primary care. That includes the S. Commercial Street and Tullar Road family practice centers in Neenah as well as the endocrine and internal medicine clinics at Theda Clark Regional Medical Center-Neenah.

Current family practice clinics have been bursting at the seams without room for expansion, Mitchell says.

Moving the primary care group and internal medicine to the new clinic also helps the hospital open up some much-needed space. The Neenah facility also adds some cancer care, including mammography, bringing more services to one site, Mitchell says.

“In the past, based on space requirements or limits, we didn’t necessarily always have the services we ideally would like in a primary care facility, and this is really going to help,” he says.

ThedaCare is currently exploring the possibility of consolidating its medical centers into one larger, centrally located regional facility. The new Neenah Clinic, with easy access to Interstate 41, would provide a convenient, outpatient support location, Mitchell says. The three-story facility would also have the ability to be expanded as needed.

“The key that we really focus on is that consistent experience for patients,” he says.

Additional projects around the region include:

• Holy Family Memorial, based in Manitowoc, plans to build a new 15,000-square-foot outpatient health care facility in Two Rivers, which will replace three existing facilities. The campus, which will provide primary care, specialty services, diagnostic testing, rehab and wellness, will be built near Memorial Drive and Roosevelt Avenue.

• Bellin Health is building a 30,000-square-foot sports medicine facility in the new Titletown District, a 34-acre development west of Lambeau Field. The facility will be geared toward injury prevention, treatment and therapy, as well as performance improvement, sports nutrition and sports psychology services.

• The 12,000-square-foot St. Elizabeth Hospital Cancer Center was completed in February. The facility is part of a new regional approach to cancer care for area hospitals within Affinity Health System (AHS) and Ministry Health Care (MHC), a healthcare ministry of Ascension. The center includes 25 patient rooms, a community space with natural lighting and more private and comfortable spaces for patients and families.