This year marks the 10th anniversary of Maple Grove Hospital. To celebrate the occasion, we spoke with Andy Cochrane, who’s been the hospital’s CEO since its start, about how the hospital has evolved over the past decade—and what’s in store for the next 10 years.
Q: Can you tell us how Maple Grove Hospital came about?
A: In the mid-2000’s, after looking at population growth projections, the state recognized the need for a hospital in the area. The project was granted to North Memorial Health, but with the qualifier that they’d find a partner. North Memorial Health and Fairview Health Services quickly came together, forming a partnership that allotted 75 percent ownership to North Memorial Health and 25 percent to Fairview.
As of April 15, 2022, North Memorial Health purchased the remaining 25 percent ownership interest in Maple Grove Hospital from Fairview Health Services.
We opened on Dec. 30, 2009 with a licensed bed capacity of 90. Not even a year after opening we began efforts to expand to support the growing community.
Q: How has the hospital grown over the past 10 years?
A: The hospital has grown faster and to a point beyond what was ever projected. We have very busy emergency and surgery departments, and we have the second busiest birth center in the state. We knew obstetrics would be popular based on the market, but we had no idea we’d be creating the types of programs we have now. We deliver an average of 14 babies per day and, as of recently, have delivered more than 40,000 babies since opening.
Our goal — aside from creating the hospital and services — was to focus on the experience: what it would feel like for customers and their families, and how the staff would work as a team. As much time as we’ve spent on processes, services, equipment and technology, we’ve focused at least equally as much on the culture of the organization — that’s been our big success story.
Q: As you look back, what are you most proud of?
A: I’m extremely proud of the environment that people speak about when they visit here, either as a customer or family member. We hear comments that people have been at a lot of different hospitals and have never had an experience like they had here. The staff really takes the time to understand our customers’ needs and builds relationships with them and their families in a way people aren’t expecting or used to.
Our experience scores are the highest in the area and in the top five to 10 percent when you benchmark us across the country. I’m probably most proud of that because that was our goal, to create something different than just being the new hospital, and we’ve done that.
And we continue to stay focused on this goal. We’re deliberate about hiring the right people and as a team consistently speak about the importance of — and our accountability to — creating an unmatched environment for our customers and their families.
Q: Looking to the future, what do you see in store for Maple Grove Hospital?
A: We’re currently evaluating an expansion of the hospital. We have continued to grow each of the ten years we have been open and are nearing capacity in a number of our key areas. We also intend to continue to grow the services we offer for adult medical and surgical care including more cardiology, pulmonology and gastroenterology. We’re really maturing as a hospital, growing from a community hospital to more of a regional medical destination center that delivers care for the whole family. We look forward to serving these communities for years to come building on our reputation for care and an experience that is different than other hospitals.
Q: Will you do anything to celebrate this landmark occasion?
A: On December 5, we held our annual Light the Grove event. It’s an opportunity for everyone in the area to come to the hospital and feel a sense of community, as well as enjoy things like choirs from local high schools, reindeer, trolley rides and a visit with Santa. And this year we had special activities to celebrate our 10-year anniversary.
Q: What has the experience been like for you, from the start to now?
A: I feel so proud. It’s a little like being a new parent and having the opportunity to shape the growth of a child. Then the child is 10 years old and you look at them and say, “Wow, they really turned out to be exceptional.”