Mercy and Unity hospitals begin new era as ‘One Hospital, Two Campuses’

For the past 50 years, two Allina Health hospitals – Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids and Unity Hospital in Fridley – have collaborated on many services for patients in the North Metro. That collaboration has resulted in enhanced care for the north metro communities and has set the stage for a new era for the two hospitals.

On Jan. 1, Mercy Hospital and Unity Hospital combined under one license and share the single name: Mercy Hospital. The former Unity Hospital is now known as Mercy Hospital – Unity Campus. Allina Health’s “One Hospital, Two Campuses” plan makes a significant investment in patient care in the North Metro and lays the foundation to support improved health of the communities for the next 20 years and beyond.

“We are excited about the opportunity to make investments for our communities,” said Sara Criger, senior vice president, north region, Allina Health, and president of Mercy Hospital. “We are committed to strengthening and offering services at each campus that patients need most often, and we will continue to evolve and provide the best care and experience for the North Metro.”

Many services will continue to be located on both campuses. Each campus will have an emergency department, inpatient medical and surgical care and outpatient services, such as lab, therapies and radiology, that are used most frequently in our communities. The combined Mercy Hospital will provide access to an increasing number of specialty services, now and in the future. These include mother and baby care, advanced mental health and addiction services, nationally recognized heart care and other specialty services.

The “One Hospital, Two Campuses” goal is to strengthen specialty programs by reducing unnecessary duplication and providing better access to more coordinated services.

For example, a new state-of-the-art inpatient adult mental health program will open on the Unity campus beginning in March. The new program features 40 private rooms, fitness programs, music and other therapies in a healing environment designed to help people get well more quickly. This program will replace a 39-bed unit at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids.

Mental health was the top concern identified by local community leaders and residents in a community health survey conducted last year. Unity has had a successful addiction services program for many years. Because many patients struggle with mental health and addiction, combining these programs on Unity’s campus gives patients easier access to services. The consolidation, combined with other treatment innovations, means that patients will get the care they need with better results.

Other examples of the “One Hospital Two Campuses” plan include coordination of advanced cardiac and vascular services at the Metropolitan Heart and Vascular Institute and consolidation of obstetric services at The Mother Baby Center at Mercy with Children’s Minnesota. Both programs are located on the Mercy campus in Coon Rapids.

Significant capital investments are being made. On the Mercy campus, construction is underway on a new parking ramp and new main entrance. Additional construction projects include expanded emergency department; new intensive care unit; new medical surgical unit; new operating rooms; and renovated kitchen and cafeteria. These projects are expected to be completed in 2019.

On the Unity campus, improvements are underway to accommodate the relocation of inpatient mental health and in the Emergency Department.
In addition to the name change, combining the two hospitals means one patient registration, one hospital bill and less paperwork for patients who may move between campuses.

Contact Sam Lenhart at [email protected]