Lakeland Health gets $1.5M donation from Hanson

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

ST. JOSEPH — Merlin and Carolyn Hanson donated $1.5 million to Lakeland Health for the construction of what’s being called the Hanson Heart Center.

Lakeland Health announced in a news release Wednesday that the heart center – which is to be named in the family’s honor – will be on the first floor of the new 260,000-square-foot Lakeland Medical Center Pavilion.

“We thank the Hansons for their leadership and dedication to provide nationally-recognized heart care right here in Southwest Michigan,” Dan Hopp, Lakeland Board chairman, said in a news release. “Their gift paves the way for advancements in reducing the incidence of cardiac and vascular disease in our community and improving outcomes for those affected.”

Merlin Hanson, is the chairman for the Board of Hanson Group, the parent company for Hanson Logistics, Hanson Mold, Eagle Technologies and Pure Fact Water.

“This gift is an effort to honor and give back some of our success to the people who’ve worked for us – and still work for us – as well as ‘for the good of all,’ a motto our family has always strived to uphold in all we do,” Hanson said in a release. “The Hanson Heart Center will help provide future generations with quality, compassionate care well into the future.”

At the center, patients will have access to a multidisciplinary cardiac and vascular team that includes board-certified cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, electrophisiologists, hospitalists and radiologists.

The new center will include state-of-the-art procedure and treatment rooms, a cardiac rehabilitation area, as well as nuclear medicine and stress-testing exam rooms.

Loren Hamel, Lakeland president and CEO, said without the Hanson’s generosity, area residents would have “lesser quality of life.”

“Each year in Southwest Michigan, and throughout the United States, cardiovascular diseases top the list of the most serious health problems,” Hamel said in a release. “As leaders in heart care, the Hanson Heart Center team will play a vital role in providing the best course of treatment in less time, with the hopes of saving valuable heart muscle and helping our friends and neighbors return to their normal daily activities as soon as possible.”

The heart center is part of the Lakeland Medical Center Pavilion, which is a $160 million expansion that is scheduled for completion in 2020.

The five-floor, 260,000-square-foot medical pavilion – with an additional 80,000-square-foot renovation – will be built on the Lakeland Medical Center campus at 1234 Napier Ave. in St. Joseph.

The Pavilion is slated to break ground next Oct. 19.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Oct. 13, 2016)

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