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New McLaren Lansing COO Talks Construction

Jay de los Reyes photo
Scott Pohl
Jay de los Reyes is the new Chief Operating Officer at McLaren Greater Lansing

McLaren Greater Lansing has a new Chief Operating Officer. Jay de los Reyes comes to Lansing from Port Huron, Michigan, where he had been CEO of Lake Huron Medical Center. He will helm the hospital system as they close two South-side hospitals and build a new one in partnership with Michigan State University.

De los Reyes discusses the construction project and the future of McLaren’s two existing facilities in Lansing with WKAR's Scott Pohl. He says the new hospital will be a state of the art facility, "but it won't be shiny and new forever."

McLaren MSU hospital construction photo
Credit Alec Gerstenberger / WKAR/MSU
In partnership with MSU, McLaren is building this new hospital between Collins Road and U.S. 127. Completion is scheduled for 2022.

JAY de los REYES: I think what matters most is what we bring into that facility. And so I'm really big on culture, on creating the best, most conducive environment for the patient experience, for their families, for the physician to choose to practice at McLaren Greater Lansing, and then for each other.

SCOTT POHL: You weren't in Lansing through the decision making process about building a new hospital. You must have had a learning curve when you got here. Tell me about that. Do you feel fully up to speed yet?

De los REYES: This is about six weeks in, so it's been about a month and a half. Anytime I get to a new market, big or small, it's a minimum of 90 days to kind of get up to speed.

I wasn't here for the pre planning stages. I feel like I have a pretty good idea at this point. I'm seeing it every day when I drive to work. I think in terms of the design phase, there's still a lot of planning for the inside and what the actual footprint will look like.

POHL: The McLaren MSU groundbreaking ceremony was almost a year ago, and we're all watching the structure go up now. Is the construction on time to finish in 2022, and is it on budget at this point?

De los REYES: The goal out of the gates is if you can build a buffer, and certainly we're in the Midwest, so seasonality, especially the winters, can put a damper on timelines.


I think we're probably a little ahead of schedule. I think we've probably built a buffer of about 30 days. Jay de los Reyes

POHL: Let's talk about the future of the existing hospitals in South Lansing. What's to become of them? any action yet on selling the buildings? What do we know about their future?

De los REYES: I think the goal is, can you repurpose them in a way that's beneficial to the community? I think there's a lot of conversations right now, locally, and then even at a state level, about what we could potentially do to impact mental health access. I think that ideally we would love to be able to work with the state and with other providers to create a model that creates an access point and maybe relieves pressure. I think, at least within the region, it's probably 200 days to get a psych bed, so we think there's opportunity there.


(The) Penn campus, we're not too far along. I think there's different opportunities potentially to sell that campus. I would think, at least on the Penn campus, we're probably looking for opportunities for buyers. Jay de los Reyes

Scott Pohl has maintained an on-call schedule reporting for WKAR following his retirement after 36 years on the air at the station.
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