Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Henry Ford Hospital West Bloomfield: Are you sure this is a hospital?

Last week, I was invited to take a tour of the Henry Ford Hospital West Bloomfield during their one year anniversary celebration. I had never been to this hospital before, but I had heard about their private rooms and hotel-like amenities so I was eager to see everything for myself.

The Henry Ford Hospital West Bloomfield is the first hospital that The Henry Ford Medical Group has built from the ground up since the original hospital in Detroit opened in 1915. The hospital was designed to be a community gathering place and the community had input in the final design. The hospital has a radical design that takes the patients needs into account to provide an almost spa like experience.

To say that I was impressed by what I saw would be an understatement. I was floored and walked around with my mouth open for most of the tour. It just did not look like a hospital. It looked more like a mall or a spa retreat with a hospital hidden inside. So let me tell and show you what I saw...

It's a world unto itself
My tour started on Main Street, which resembles a street in a small village. The Henry Ford designers went for an old world lodge atmosphere. There are salvaged architectural pieces like the stained glass windows shown in the photo above and there are cozy areas to sit and rest like the wicker chairs in front of the fireplace shown in the photo above. The atmosphere feels very homey.

There are actual street signs on posts to direct visitors. On each side of the street are stores including Caribou Coffee, The Sleep Well Shop that sells beautiful organic bedding, and The Live Well Shoppe which sells organic lotions and potions, all kinds of products for healthy living, and beautiful jewelry and clothing.

Hey, It's Henry!
While on my walking tour, I met the cutest member of the Henry Ford staff, Henry the therapy dog. Henry is very good at his job because he put me in a very relaxed mood.

Nature comes inside
We left Main Street and entered into the first of two atriums which are both beautiful and peaceful. The first atrium is very large and had just been used by the DSO for a concert for the hospital's anniversary celebration. The second atrium is smaller and contains an interfaith chapel. Some of the patient rooms look out into this atrium and the patients can use the atrium to walk in for exercise.

Give me a room with a view
Next on my tour was a look at the patient rooms. In the Henry Ford Hospital West Bloomfield, every room is a private room and there is no additional costs to stay in a private room at this hospital. Since every patient room is private, the standard room insurance rates apply.

Each patient room has a view of the atrium or the pond that surrounds the hospital. Each room has a stylish tile bathroom, a huge couch that can sleep an overnight guest, and a flat panel TV. The TV can be used to watch more than just TV programs. It can also be used with the remote to watch videos about upcoming patient procedures and order 24 hour room service. Yes, 24 hour room service! The hospital has found that by allowing patients to eat when they are hungry and to eat what they want (within dietary restrictions), food waste has been cut down significantly. Also extra bedding, towels, and other supplies are not kept in the room, but in a linen closet right outside the room. This again cuts down on waste and saves the hospital money.

Even the walls and floors on the patient areas are stylish. The walls are covered in original works of art depicting Michigan outdoor living and the floors have pattern themes (acorns, leaves, etc) that are stylish and help patients and visitors to identify where they are going.

Watch out Martha Stewart
Next on my tour was a visit to the Demonstration Kitchen, which is a 90 seat kitchen auditorium where the audience can watch and participate in healthy cooking classes. It was fabulous. It looked like the set of a Martha Stewart cooking show. I peeked in to see the filming of a special cooking class featuring Michael Geiger from the Eastern Market.

Wellness never looked like this!
My tour continued with visiting Vita, the hospital wellness center. This is a wellness center like nothing I have seen before. Vita is a luxury spa providing massage therapy, skin care, nail care, aqua therapy, and more with a mind body studio featuring yoga and exercise classes. They also have a Neuroacoustic Sound Therapy Chair where 25 minutes in the chair is equivalent to a 90 minute nap - I totally need some time in that chair. The wellness center also provides mammograms and wig and makeup application for cancer patients.

Healthy Living means Healthy Eating
My tour ended with lunch at Henry's, which is billed to offer a unique and healthy dining experience. I was totally prepared to hate the food since it is all suppose to be healthy, but I was pleasantly shocked by how delicious it all was. The food is prepared fresh daily by chefs that are trained in healthy cooking. I had a delicious burger and a slice of sugar free cheese cake that was wonderful. Who knew healthy food could taste that wonderful. During the lunch, the dining experience was further heightened by the music provided by a wonderful piano player. I could not believe that I was eating in a hospital.

The Henry Ford Hospital West Bloomfield totally blew away my preconceptions of how a hospital should look and feel. The designers did a wonderful job of making everything seem homey and comforting. And the goal of making the hospital into a community gathering place was definitely achieved. Go hang out there and see it all for yourself and tell Henry I said hello...

Click here to see some of the FREE screenings offered in March and April by the Henry Ford Hospital.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal as part of my tour.


  1. @MJ5nMotown4ever - @freeismylife WOWWW thats not a hospital, thats a Hotel lol

  2. I wouldn't mind being sick in West

  3. Look out Henry Ford here I come. Spinal fusion next monday, I know Im in good hands, but still scared...

  4. I had a 10 day stay at Henry Ford Hospital many years ago and I was treated wonderfully. You are in good hands and I will say a prayer. Blessings to you!

  5. My friend had surgey at Henry Ford W. Bloomfield, and I just got back from visiting her. I could not believe this hospital, how beautiful it is, I felt like I was in a high priced shopping mall lol The Cafeteria food? Absolutly fantastic, everything is healthy, alot of vegan things as well.