Nestled in the busy crossroads of Highway 55 and Interstate 494, the building with the swooshy logo is a familiar site to Plymouth residents and commuters alike. Even so, many who pass it every day wonder the same thing: What exactly is WestHealth?
“In 2008, we initiated a branding process in which we asked the question, ‘Who are we?’” says Jeffry Roseland, director of administrative services for WestHealth. “What we gleaned from talking to community members is that we are either an insurance company or an office building”—wrong on both counts.
WestHealth is a medical Mecca, what Roseland calls “a one-stop shop” for outpatient medical care. The 180,000-square-foot fortress of health contains an urgent care clinic, same-day surgery center and more than 50 medical clinics in a variety of specialties, from allergy care to urology. It also boasts imaging services such as MRIs and mammograms, an on-site laboratory where anyone can have tests performed with a physician’s order, a pharmacy and a café.
Turns out, WestHealth might just be the most useful building you’ve never visited.
But even if you are a regular patient there—one of the 7,000 people who have a surgical procedure performed at WestHealth each year, the 16,000 women who have an imaging test done there annually or the 85 patients seen daily in the Urgent Care clinic—there’s a lot you might not know about the facility.
Growing to Serve
Plans for WestHealth began in 1992 as a partnership between Abbot Northwestern Hospital and North Memorial Medical Center. The 38-acre campus opened to patients in 1994; just four years later, responding to public demand, a four-story, 78,000-square-foot addition was built.
WestHealth runs the seven-days-a-week urgent care, an ExpressCare clinic for patients with minor issues like pink eye and urinary tract infections, the Imaging and Women’s Imaging centers, the surgery center and the lab, while renting out space to clinics and physicians who act as tenants.
Like everyone else, WestHealth was hit by the 2008 recession; at the time, a good portion of its business was plastic surgery patients, and when the economy got rough, fewer people opted for elective surgery. However, WestHealth still performs the most plastic surgeries of any facility in a five-state area. Even more impressive, the building currently boasts a meager 1 percent vacancy rate for providers who rent space.
In late April, Abbot Northwestern (owned by Allina) quietly bought out North Memorial’s share and is now the sole owner of WestHealth. Allina public relations manager Gloria O’Connell says patients shouldn’t notice an interruption or change in services.
‘A Top-notch Place To Be’
The large majority of providers in the building have been tenants since the very beginning, including the Allina Medical Clinic, WestHealth’s largest tenant, which rents an entire floor of the original building. Founding tenants also include groups like Oakdale Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic; Sister Kenny Sports, Physical and Hand Therapy Center; Partners in Pediatrics; and Metro Urology.
But new additions are welcome, too. In March, Dr. Jennifer Harrington, a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon and director of plastic and reconstructive surgery at North Memorial Hospital, moved from an office in Edina into an elegantly remodeled space on WestHealth’s fourth floor.
“This facility has been known for a long time to provide phenomenal care,” she says. “It’s a top-notch place to be, a good place to work, and I feel privileged to be part of this team.”
She says her clients overwhelmingly love her new office, despite being a bit farther from her former location.
“I have tons of patients from the east side of the cities and from Wisconsin, and they don’t seem to mind coming out here because it’s such an amazing place.”
‘The Hardest Working People Are Here’
Jeffry says the not-for-profit, “mission-driven” WestHealth stands apart from its competitors by emphasizing convenience and focusing on customer service. He notes that according to its in-house patient survey, 99 percent of WestHealth patients would recommend the facility to family and friends for care.
Dr. Michael Fasching, a plastic surgeon who’s had an office at WestHealth since 2002, agrees that there’s something different—and better—in the air at WestHealth.
“I’ve worked in most every hospital in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and the hardest working people are here,” he says. “The people who work here are down to earth, genuine, conscientious people, and you don’t find that everywhere in town.”
In the Community, for the Community
Beyond being a healthcare community in and of itself, WestHealth has made a strong effort to insinuate itself to the Plymouth community. Last spring it collaborated with Mosaic, an international producer of crop nutrients with headquarters in Plymouth, on a corporate giving garden (see story on page XX). WestHealth donated 4,000 square feet of planting space on its campus, as well as water, for employee volunteers to grow and harvest vegetables.
“We’ve established relationships with the city of Plymouth,” Roseland says. “We are involved with the Chamber of Commerce and have co-partnered with the city for the Healthy Living Fair for the past three years. We hope to see that partnership grow even more than ever.”
WestHealth offers community programming in the spring and the fall, with providers hosting free classes about myriad health topics. Employees also walk in Plymouth on Parade to highlight services available.
Whether you’re a loyal WestHealth patient or simply a curious passerby, Fasching believes WestHealth is a unique gem that Plymouth should be proud of.
“To have good outpatient care without having to drive, that’s a real addition to the community,” he says. “If someone is looking for an internist, pediatrician, OB/GYN, ophthalmologist, dermatology—pretty much everything's here.”
“It’s an amazing facility,” she says. “I call it a sleeping giant. It’s a big deal, and the people of Plymouth should be exceedingly proud to have it here.”
2805 Campus Dr.
By the Numbers
30,000 patients each year visiting WestHealth’s urgent care
60 minutes: average door-to-door turnaround time for urgent-care patients
500 physicians and providers working in the building
200+ WestHealth employees (not counting people who work for tenant providers)
6 operating rooms (plus 2 endoscopy rooms and 1 procedure room)
15,338 square feet: the size of Allina Medical Clinic, WestHealth's largest tenant
6* plastic surgeons with office space at WestHealth
5* women's specialty clinics
* Providers move in and out of the building frequently; these numbers last updated August 2011.
What's in There?
A list of WestHealth’s providers’ specialties.
Allergy and asthma
Colon and rectal surgery
Female pelvic medicine
Otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat)