Southwest Michigan Today: Tuesday September 18, 2018

Sep 18, 2018

Western Michigan University's Parkview Campus - file photo
Credit WMUK

A new, large battery is now at Western Michigan University’s Parkview Campus. Bronson plans new facilities in South Haven while Borgess gets a name change. 

Bronson Healthcare says it’s planning to invest $22-million in new facilities for its South Haven location. Bronson says it will replace aging facilities over the next two years with a new hospital and medical offices on the east side of its property near Blue Star Highway. South Haven Health System became part of Bronson at the beginning of 2017. Bronson says the current buildings on the site will be demolished once the new hospital and medical offices are complete. Bronson says the construction should be finished at the end of 2020.

There's a new battery on Western Michigan University's Parkview Campus, a really large battery. Consumers Energy unveiled it Monday and says it's the first of its kind in the utility's service area. Consumers Energy spokesman Dennis McKee says the one-megawatt battery at Western can hold enough energy to serve a thousand homes. McKee says storage batteries can also be used to store electricity generated by wind farms. He says Consumers and Michigan State University will study the Kalamazoo battery's performance over the next 12 months.

State and local health officials say an Allegan County resident has come down with Eastern Equine encephalitis. It’s the first human case of the disease reported in Michigan since 2016. The virus affects horses and humans and can cause brain damage. The disease that kills about a third of the people who get it is spread by mosquitoes. But officials say human cases are rare.

Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo has a new name. It's now "Ascension Borgess Hospital." The Ascension brand is also being added to the names of affiliated hospitals in Plainwell and Dowagiac. The Kalamazoo hospital was affiliated with the Sisters of Saint Joseph until it was acquired by Ascension in 1999. Ascension has 141 hospitals around the country. It's considered the world's largest group of hospitals with ties to the Roman Catholic Church.

(MPRN) Healthy Michigan means better credit for Michigan’s low-income residents. That’s according to a new study on the state’s Medicaid expansion released Monday. It found that people on the plan improved their financial health since getting the insurance coverage. Sarah Miller is a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business who worked on the study. Miller says they found that because people were in less financial stress health wise, they didn’t overdraw their credit cards and they paid bills on time. Which means their credit scores got better. Researchers tracked changes in people’s financial health using data from the state. But the researchers did not have access to individual’s identities.