sketch of McLaren Thumb Region hospital

McLaren Thumb Region has its historical roots in Hubbard Memorial Hospital, which opened its doors on May 25, 1903 and was originally chartered in the State of Michigan on May 29, 1906, by the late Frank W. Hubbard.

In September 1968, construction of a new hospital began on South Van Dyke, west of Bad Axe. The 67-bed hospital opened August 17, 1970. At that time Hubbard Memorial and Bad Axe General Hospital merged to form Huron Memorial Hospital.

The need for additional beds was recognized in 1971, and a third floor addition was begun on March 22, 1974. Also added were a new Physical Therapy Department, a Cardiopulmonary Department, and a Pharmacy. This project was completed in 1976 and brought the number of beds to 93.

In 1981, 7400 square feet was added to Huron Memorial Hospital with construction of additional Laboratory and X-Ray facilities. The lab has grown to become one of the largest in the tri-county area. It is accredited by the College of American Pathologists.

After working with governmental agencies for five years, in 1989, permission was granted to install the first computerized tomographic (CT) scanner in the tri-county area. Renovations were completed and the first patients were seen by mid May of that year.

A construction/renovation project was again undertaken in 1994. This project included construction of a 15,000 square foot addition, for new Operating Room Suites and Ambulatory Surgery. There was a need to expand because Huron Memorial Hospital had added several physicians with a variety of medical specialties and many pieces of specialized equipment since the original Operating Rooms were built in 1970. It also two included renovation of portions of the first and third floors. Twenty-nine beds, which had not been used for several years, were delicensed to make room for the changes that were made in Cardiopulmonary, Pharmacy, Medical Records, Physical Therapy and Radiology departments. A Central Registration area was also added.

In October 2001, as part of its long-term strategy to focus on major secondary acute care, the Administration and Board of Directors announced that the name of the organization would change to Huron Medical Center. In keeping with its vision of becoming a medical center, HMC began construction in October 2003, on a two-phase expansion project that included a new Cardiac Catheterization Lab, and new facilities for the existing Emergency and Obstetrical Services.

In Phase One, a 6,240 sq. ft. Cardiac Catheterization Lab and Cardiology Clinic was added to our first floor. With the aging population continuing to grow and with heart disease as the number one cause of death in the Thumb, HMC initially partnered with St. Joseph’s Mercy Oakland Hospital to ensure high quality cardiac healthcare services locally. Currently the cath lab provides peripheral vascular services through a joint venture arrangement with McLaren Bay Region.

Phase Two of the expansion project included a new Emergency Services Area on the first floor of the medical center. The new Emergency Department provides more privacy in treatment areas, a larger trauma area, and up-to-date facilities better equipped for disaster preparedness capabilities. The new Emergency Department adds 8,675 sq. ft, twice the size of the current space. It includes a private covered entrance for emergency vehicles. The hospital staffs the 24 hour/7day Emergency Department with onsite physicians specially trained in Emergency Medicine.

The second floor addition houses a 6,715 sq. ft. Obstetrical Department with six labor, delivery, recovery and post-partum suites (LDRP). Due to the continuing increase in birth rates in its service area, the hospital is focusing on a more family-oriented childbirth experience. The new LDRP suites include private showers, a home-like atmosphere, and plenty of space for family and friends. Newborns room-in with mothers for quality bonding time. The unit includes a Nursery for babies that require special monitoring. As the only facility to provide Obstetrical Services in Huron County, the hospital recruited a team of OB-GYNs to help meet the needs of the community. Additional construction included a new lobby, an expanded gift shop, centralized registration, an elevator, a new exterior façade on the entire building and expanded parking.

In 2016, The Birthing Center at HMC received the prestigious Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan “Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care” designation. During the same year, The Huron Medical Center Comprehensive Wound and Hyperbaric Center received the National Award for Clinical Excellence from Healogics.

Most recently the sleep lab at Huron Medical Center received Sleep Disorder Center in Bad Axe recently received program accreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

In May 2018, Huron Medical Center of Bad Axe announced that it has officially become a subsidiary of McLaren Health Care, one of Michigan’s largest integrated health systems. The 58 bed Huron Medical Center is now named McLaren Thumb Region.

The plan to join another hospital system came as a result of Huron Medical Center’s goal to expand services to the community. The plan includes providing improved access to physicians, expanded service offerings for patients and enhancements to the facility’s infrastructure and equipment.

In 2018, The Robert A. Warriner III, M.D., Center of Excellence award was given to McLaren Thumb Region Wound & Hyperbaric Clinic because this center has achieved outstanding patient satisfaction rates and healing rates for a minimum of two consecutive years. This is the second year in a row the center was awarded this prestigious honor by Healogics, the nation's largest provider of advanced wound care services. The award is named for Dr. Robert A. Warriner III, a pioneer in wound care and the former Chief Medical Officer for Healogics.

For over 110 years, McLaren Thumb Region has continued the tradition of providing quality healthcare to people residing in Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola Counties.