Sparrow Health System leaders say plans to close its 16 bed emergency department at its St. Lawrence campus are part of an effort to better address patients' changing needs and busy schedules.

The move will allow the hospital to reinforce its other options for emergency treatment, such as urgent care and fast care services.

Sparrow's president and CEO said, "really this is about responding to patient needs more than anything else."

According to the Lansing State Journal, Sparrow announced the plan to close the St. Lawrence emergency department earlier this month.  Sparrow has said the department won't close any sooner than May 1.