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Fast Hospital Start Planned

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SMUL A fast start on developTng the new St. Joseph Mercy Hospital site in Superior Township is in the offing if the Comprehensive Health Planning Council of Southeastern Michigan gives its final approval of the project on June 6. John Rhude, St. Joseph director of development, told the Ann Arbor Evening Lions Club Tuesday night that project plans would enable ground to be broken "within a matter of weeks." Target time for completion is 1976. The target involves conditions laid down by state licensing authorities concerning replacement of the present hospital on N. Ingalls St. I Rhude gave the Lions Club 37737?' a ruHöown on St. Wweph goals, criticisms of its plans, and answers to the criticisms. He said the site on Clark Rd. is about VA Iniles irom the county population center and much closer than the present location to the center of the hospital's county-service area. The 213-acre site will provide room for a comprehensive medical service complex, Rhude said. Some 85 acres would be needed for the new St. Joseph hospital. Plans are to sell other plots to related agencies in the medical field. The new St. Joseph will be 558 - bed facility, the same capacity as the present hospital. Rhude said room-shortage problems would be relieved, -ü Hosrrmisx however, by more adequate service faeilities in various fields, thus cutting down the need for hospital patients to wait for such services. The new hospital also could be expanded. Nearby Washtenaw C o mmunity College is making plans for various educational I undertakings because of the I nearness of the new St. I seph site, Rhude said. One of St. Joseph's big I problems, parking, would be I solved. Frequent arguments of I consumerism-oriented critics I have not been sustantiated by ■ documentation, Rhude ■ tained. He also defended the M hospitai's record of servingB indigent persons. fl