Representatives of Beacon Health System and Franciscan Health welcomed local residents and city officials to the blessing and groundbreaking celebration of the new, $21.6 million Franciscan Beacon Hospital project.
Scheduled to be completed in early 2020, the new facility will comprise roughly 28,000 square feet of new construction and will also include the renovation of 19,000 square feet of existing space at the current Beacon Medical Group clinic, located at 900 I Street in La Porte, Indiana.
“We are happy to partner with Franciscan Health for this new health venture here in La Porte,” said Maggie Scroope, Director of Communications for Beacon Health Systems. “This is our first time partnering with Franciscan Health, and we’re excited to be working with them to build this facility.”
Scroope stressed the importance of availability of medical care in the community.
“This will provide closer, more convenient access to emergency care for La Porte. People want care that is close to home. This is a national trend we’re seeing: full-service emergency departments with a smaller footprint, but with the same level of quality health care,” Scroope said.
A locally-owned health system, Beacon formed in 2011 through the affiliation of Memorial Hospital of South Bend and Elkhart General Hospital, providing health services for up to ten million patients annually.
“The Franciscan mission aims to provide healthcare to the citizens of Indiana and surrounding states,” said Robert Blaszkiewicz, Media Relation Specialist for Franciscan Alliance. “This is another step towards doing just that, providing residents here with a new option for healthcare.”
Addressing the crowd gathered inside the clinic, Kreg Gruber, Chief Executive Officer of Beacon Health System, credited the importance of relationships in making this project a reality.
Gruber said that the idea originated from a conversation he had with Dean Mazzoni, President and CEO of Franciscan Health Michigan City.
“It really started with relationships and conversation,” Gruber said. “Oftentimes, that’s where great things start, with conversation and relationships. From there, we got great support from the physicians in the community. That was the second step this took, reaching out to the physicians and staff who take care of people everyday and know best what they need.
“This project is a great symbol of our commitment to continue our relationship within this community,” Gruber said.
“We learned a lot,” said Mazzoni of the two-year journey in developing the project. “But I think that the real beneficiaries of this venture are the patients in this community, who will benefit from the incredible talent of the physicians and healthcare providers who will serve in this facility in the future.”
Mazzoni said that the changing focus of heathcare includes new models and methods of providing care to patients when and where it’s needed most.
“In today’s rapidly evolving healthcare industry, so much changes so quickly,” Mazzoni said. “It’s crucial that organizations embrace change, adapt and explore new models of healthcare delivery for the communities that we serve.”
Mazzoni continued, “Hospitals of the future need to be convenient, accessible, and provide high-quality healthcare with a focus on outstanding patient service. Small hospitals are ideally suited to improve access for small communities. That’s why this project is so exciting and innovative.”
La Porte Mayor Mark Krentz recognized both Franciscan Health and Beacon Health System for their commitment to providing quality medical care to the residents of northwest Indiana.
“This is going to be a high-quality facility, with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment,” Krentz said. “Thank you so much for your compassion, and your commitment to our community.”
The new hospital will feature a full-service, 10-bed emergency department, eight inpatient beds, laboratory services and telehealth connectivity, as well as imaging and diagnostic equipment.
Tonn and Blank Construction of Michigan City will serve as construction manager and contractor for the project.