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Marshall – September 4th marked the official first parking day for Oaklawn’s new Prospect Street parking lot, located immediately North of the hospital near the Emergency Room entrance. The parking lot was developed to provide patients and their families more convenient, accessible care.

”Part of our mission at Oaklawn is having accessible care,” stated Kim Campbell, Emergency Room Director at Oaklawn Hospital.  “Patients who are in a crisis and in need of emergency services are truly relieved to be able to readily park and gain assistance for themselves or their loved one. In true emergencies, every minute may count.”

The hospital worked alongside city residents and local businesses to develop a plan to maximize the landscaping, lighting and safety of the parking lot.

“Working with our neighbors on making this parking lot a reality has been a great opportunity,” stated Ginger Williams, MD, CEO of Oaklawn. “We greatly appreciate the support of the Marshall Neighborhood Association through each step of the process and all necessary City approvals. I am especially grateful because of the tremendously positive impact this will have on the lives of our most sick and injured patients in their times of greatest need.”

The hospital went to great lengths to design a parking lot that not only provides greater access for patients and families, but one that also minimizes any potential negative effects on nearby residents.

”We put great consideration and effort into the light fixture selection for this parking lot,” said Joanna Tarkiewicz, Plant Operations Manager at Oaklawn. “We worked with the City of Marshall in the selection of the most appropriate light fixture. The new LED light fixtures near the property lines feature built-in light house shields which divert the light away from the residences.”

Oaklawn neighbor Charlie Johnston noted the hospital’s receptiveness to input and willingness to modify plans for the mutual benefit of residents and patients.

“Oaklawn did a great job with the new parking area and the attention to detail with landscaping, lighting and safety,” Johnston commented. “They were very fair during the planning process by sharing their plans with the neighborhood and being receptive to our requests and making changes to appease both sides.  In the end, I think it’s great, and as the trees and greenery grow it’ll be even better.”

The new parking lot will also free up additional spaces for patrons of local businesses downtown making parking more abundant and convenient.

Dr. Williams said, ”I’d also like to thank the downtown business owners for so patiently and generously sharing the City-owned parking spaces with our staff during our time of parking shortage.”

“On behalf of the 175-plus downtown businesses in Marshall, the DDA encourages efforts that help make our hometown an attractive place to shop, live, and work, said Sue Damron,” Chair of the Downtown Development Authority. “In this case, the additional flexibility for downtown parking will be a welcome result. We should never underestimate the power of community-driven approaches to revitalization or the value of collaboration among the various stakeholders in our community to make projects like this a reality.”

Oaklawn opened its doors in 1925 as a 12-bed hospital in a residential home, funded by a group of visionary philanthropists. Now, more than eight decades later, it has evolved into a highly regarded regional health care organization, licensed for 77 acute care beds and a 17-bed inpatient psychiatric unit. It has continued to be an independently owned non-profit hospital that enjoys a reputation for advancing medicine and providing compassionate, personal care. Service area includes Calhoun County and parts of Branch and Eaton counties. It boasts an active, courtesy, and consulting medical staff of more than 150 physicians representing 34 specialties. To learn more about Oaklawn, please visit oaklawnhospital.org.