High Points in Community Healthcare System

High Points in Community Healthcare System
By: Kayla Belec Last Updated: January 16, 2019

With its vast network of outpatient clinics, physician offices, and extensive network of services, Community Healthcare System provides Northwest Indiana with greater access to high quality healthcare.

Community Healthcare System is comprised of three not-for-profit hospitals: Community Hospital in Munster; St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago; St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart, and Hartsfield Village, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Munster. The Northwest Indiana healthcare system’s vast network of care locations includes outpatient, surgical and rehabilitation centers, physician practices, behavioral health, occupational health, home care, a medically-based fitness center, Fitness Pointe, the Community Cancer Research Foundation and Cancer Resource Centre support center.

To become the leading healthcare organization in Northwest Indiana that it is today, Community Hospital, St. Catherine Hospital and St. Mary Medical Center first joined forces in October of 2001 when parent company, the Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana, Inc. of Community Hospital partnered with St. Catherine Hospital and St. Mary Medical Center. Together, the three hospitals began to “care as one” system by using their collective resources to provide patients across Northwest Indiana with the highest quality healthcare.

Every step that the hospitals took over the years represents a wealth of capital investment and a healthy leap forward for the Northwest Indiana residents. Let’s take a look at the major milestones and investments each hospital has achieved, leading to the foremost regional healthcare presence Community Healthcare System boasts today.

Community Hospital
By investing in advanced technologies, innovative treatments, and specialty trained staff, Community Hospital commits to providing outstanding medical care to area residents. The Munster-based hospital features multidisciplinary teams of health professionals and highly-trained nursing staff for collaboration and accountability in patient care. Through years of continued growth Community Hospital has been honored with numerous quality awards and accreditations, proving excellence in patient outcomes and experiences.

  • The hospital admitted its first patient on September 11, 1973. At the time, it was a 104-bed medical surgical facility.
  • Delivering more than 2,100 babies every year, Community Hospital is the most experienced family birthing center in Northwest Indiana. The hospital is also one of the leading facilities for newborn care in the state, with its Level III neonatal intensive care unit and 24-hour laborists on site. Community Hospital’s Family Birthing Center is among a handful of facilities in Indiana to earn Perinatal Care Certification from The Joint Commission.
  • In November 1998, the hospital opened Fitness Pointe®, a medical-based fitness center that embodies health, wellness education and support, physical therapy and sports medicine, and general fitness.
  • Community Hospital operates the Community Neuroscience and Sports Medicine Center that houses the hospital’s Dizziness and Balance Therapy Center, concussion and sports medicine clinics together in one centrally-located facility.
  • The hospital has become a recognized leader in complex heart, valve and vascular surgeries, cardiovascular and PAD research trials and cardiac rehab services, and was the first hospital in Northwest Indiana to perform TAVR, a minimally invasive valve replacement procedure.
  • Through the Community Cancer Research Foundation, the hospital supports the area’s largest cancer research program, linked to the National Cancer Institute and major research cooperatives in the U.S. and Canada, making clinical trials and studies available to patients close to home.
  • Community Hospital offers an advanced neuroendovascular program, the only hospital in Northwest Indiana to offer Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s and essential tremors patients.
  • When the da Vinci® surgical system was first introduced in August of 2006, Community Hospital was the first hospital in Northwest Indiana to offer this innovative robotic technology. The hospital’s surgeons also were first in the state of Indiana to perform a robotic single-incision surgery to remove the gallbladder of a patient. Today, the hospital offers the latest robotic surgery technology used by surgeons in a variety of minimally invasive procedures including lung, and possibly heart surgeries in the future.
  • Community Hospital’s highly specialized services include specialty critical care units for cardiac and neurology patients, including stroke. The hospital offers 24/7 neurosurgery coverage for emergency treatment of stroke and aneurysm patients, eliminating the need for transfers to other acute care facilities.

St. Catherine Hospital
Located in a historic neighborhood of East Chicago, St. Catherine Hospital has remained at the forefront of advanced medicine in Northwest Indiana for more than 90 years. The hospital maintains national recognition for its high-quality care and innovative treatments, as well as patient safety and satisfaction. St. Catherine Hospital continually reinvests in capital upgrades, latest technologies, specialty medical staff and forward-thinking healthcare practices.

  • In 1928, St. Catherine Hospital accepted its first patient and was dedicated to honor three prominent women, one of whom was Blessed Mary Katherine Kasper, who founded The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ in Germany.
  • St. Catherine Hospital performed the first open heart surgery in all of Chicagoland.
  • Since the hospital became part of Community Healthcare System, it has completed multimillion dollar renovation to its intensive care unit, behavioral health units, south and north lobby entrances, outpatient retail pharmacy, anticoagulation clinic and Professional Office Building, and developed compassionate care delivery models to serve the community as a destination hospital.
  • St. Catherine was the 26th hospital in the nation to acquire CyberKnife technology, which enables radiation oncologists to deliver targeted, high doses of radiation to a broad range of tumors throughout the body without incision.
  • The acquisition of a da Vinci Si® surgical system allowed for St. Catherine Hospital to perform minimally-invasive, robot-assisted surgery with quicker recovery times for patients and better outcomes. This advanced technology remains an effective cancer-fighting tool today.
  • Recent acquisition of a da Vinci Si® surgical system has enabled surgical staff to perform enhanced urology, gynecology, prostate, kidney, gallbladder and hernia procedures in a minimally invasive way with quicker recovery times for patients and better outcomes.
  • Boasts nationally recognized stroke and cardiology programs with Get With The Guidelines® Gold Plus, Target: Stroke℠ honor roll status from the American Heart Association, American Stroke Association for hospital staff commitment and success in treating stroke patients with the most appropriate, timely care and; was first in Northwest Indiana to receive gold seal, advanced certification for inpatient diabetes care from The Joint Commission.
  • The hospital was selected as the first hospital in the nation to pilot RehabTracker technology for patients in need of acute care and rehabilitation.

St. Mary Medical Center
Hobart’s St. Mary Medical Center is a leading provider of expert medical care to Northwest Indiana residents, continuously investing in new technologies and innovative treatments. The hospital also utilizes multidisciplinary teams of health professionals and shared governance among the nursing staff. Similarly to St. Catherine Hospital, pastoral care plays a special role at St. Mary, and the hospital has received numerous quality awards and accreditations recognizing consistent excellence in health outcomes and patient experience.

  • In 1973, St. Mary Medical Center accepts its first patient.
  • The hospital begins enrolling patients in 2007 in the award winning Joint Academy program. Ten years later, the orthopedic surgery program is renown for some of the best outcomes in the nation.
  • St. Mary Medical Center opens a Level II nursery in 2016 offering another level of care for moms and babies. The Family Birthing Center becomes the first hospital in NW Indiana to be certified as Baby Friendly.
  • A $40 million dollar Surgical Pavilion and ICU expansion with two shelled-in floors for future patient rooms ushers in a new era for St. Mary Medical Center. St. Mary Medical Center has been designated as a Center of Excellence for Minimally Invasive Gynecology (COEMIG) and Robotic Surgery (COERS). These complementary designations, awarded by the Surgical Review Corporation (SRC), attest that the gynecologists and clinical teams at St. Mary Medical Center bring the highest levels of knowledge, expertise and professionalism to the practice of women’s healthcare.
  • The acquisition of the TrueBeam system, a groundbreaking image-guided radiotherapy system, contributes to the hospital’s nationally-accredited cancer care program.
  • St. Mary Medical Center is a recognized leader in stroke care having received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines Stroke Quality Gold Plus achievement award.
  • The hospital makes use of Mako, a robotic-arm that assisted in surgeries such as hip and knee replacements to ensure the procedure is as precise and predictable as possible.
  • Commitment to community outreach through partnerships such as the Portage and Valparaiso YMCAs, the Brickie Clinic, and the Community Paramedicine program further invest St. Mary Medical Center into the community.

To read more about the rich history of Community Healthcare System, you can find a book devoted to each hospital in their respective gift shops. For further information about services offered at Community Healthcare System visit https://www.comhs.org/.