Construction begins on Dolores Kator Switzer Women's Center

MACOMB — The long-awaited Dolores Kator Switzer Women’s Center is finally breaking ground.
Donors, local dignitaries and community members joined the McDonough District Hospital staff to celebrate the initial groundbreaking for the hospital’s new women’s healthcare center on Thursday afternoon. Well over 100 people attended the event, which included hors d’oeuvres prepared by hospital staff, pink plastic “hard hats” passed out to attendees, remarks by members of hospital administration and Macomb Mayor Michael Inman and a champagne toast.  
The event marked a turning point in the process of building the center as over $4.8 million – more than the original amount planned for, and over half the needed $7.2 million to build it – has been received.
“I was anxious to get going. The funds need to be there to get started and they’re there,” Kipling said. “It’ll move fast from now on.”
Costs of the project have risen due to rising inflation and expansions which required changes to the original design, she said.
During her remarks to the group assembled, Kipling spoke about Dick and Dolores Switzer, who were donors and members of the Golden Apple Society at MDH for several years.
“They lived in a little house on Piper Street and they lived a very simple life. Dick and Dolores were soulmates, and they did everything together,” she said.
Dolores became ill, so the two moved to Wesley Village to take care of her. She passed away on October 19, 2013. In her memory, he initially committed $1.9 million to the women’s center, and eventually donated a total of $2.6 million to the project.
Dick Switzer passed away three years to the day after Dolores, Kipling said. She became noticeably emotional as she called for a moment of silence to remember the Switzers.
According to an MDH press release, the imaging component of the expansion will include diagnostic imaging, new waiting area, and expanding and remodeling the suites for 3-D digital mammography, stereotactic breast biopsy, ultrasound and bone density screenings.
The addition will add another 4,000 square feet to the hospital. Renovations of the current OB/imaging waiting rooms is also underway while the new addition is built. To accommodate renovations, the women’s center will be strategically located on the second floor. When work is complete, the women’s center will move to the new addition.
For more information on the women’s center and the Switzers, go to mdh.org.

Reach Michelle Langhout by email at mlanghout@mcdonoughvoice.com or find her on Facebook.