Whether it was organizations donating supplies to local hospitals, clinics, or shelters, new breakthroughs being created to care for patients of all kinds, or businesses being celebrated for protecting, informing, and taking care of others, the health of our LaPorte County community was the focus all 365 days of 2020. Even as our abilities were tested or our hope was questioned, our hearts remained positive, as seen in the hundreds of health-related articles that we produced this year.
In no particular order, here are the top 10 health articles from LaPorteCounty.Life in 2020:
While flu season is always difficult to navigate, this year has been a bit more complex with the added stress of the global pandemic. Both are respiratory viruses and produce similar symptoms, so waking up with a sore throat or a fever may leave you wondering whether it’s the flu or COVID-19. Understanding the similarities and differences between the two may help you determine which virus you are dealing with.
After the official opening of Northwest Health -- La Porte on October 24, the hospital was excited and ready to use the brand-new facility to serve the La Porte community. On October 27, they were excited to welcome baby Milana, the first baby born at the new hospital. While this was the first baby born at the new facility, this was not the first time that mother Justice Reed had delivered a baby with the help of Northwest Health -- La Porte's staff.
In the cool, pre-dawn October hours, while most of the Region was still fast asleep, a convoy of ambulances converged outside of La Porte Hospital for the culmination of a process three years in the making, a move to their new and newly-branded facility: Northwest Health - La Porte.
A strong healthcare system is essential to a community’s quality of life, especially in terms of providing access to medical care to area residents and contributing to the economic health of the community overall. La Porte Hospital’s rich history of meeting the community’s needs is expanding as it evolves to the new Northwest Health healthcare system and opens the new Northwest Health - La Porte at 1331 State Street, La Porte on October 24, 2020. Yet, as it grows, its care for the medical needs of the community and contributions to the community’s economic health remains.
For the past five years, La Porte Hospital and its sister sites, Porter Regional Hospital in Valparaiso and Starke Hospital in Knox, have collaborated to better establish themselves as local healthcare leaders. Today they adopt a unified brand and the ability to market a new hospital system. Through years of collaboration, they decided that the opening of their new hospital in La Porte was the right time for the rebranding of the hospitals into a new healthcare system.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world immensely. One of the aspects of daily living that has been affected the most is healthcare, and the pandemic has had ramifications on how healthcare is used and distributed both now and most certainly in the future. A topic of discussion these past few months is how the pandemic has impacted behavioral health within our communities, as well as the ties between physical and mental health in general.
The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in La Porte County, currently in its 24th year, may have looked radically different from events in past years, but it was nevertheless filled with messages of love, support, and encouragement. Spread out across the lawn in front of La Porte Hospital were rows of luminaries - two semi-circles of luminaries to represent the 238 individuals who were diagnosed with cancer at La Porte Hospital in 2019.
On Saturday, July 18, a special drive-through outreach event in La Porte provided Hispanic community members with COVID-19 related educational information in Spanish and protective supplies.
The La Porte County Fire Chief’s Association sparked an effort to honor Franciscan Health and La Porte Hospital healthcare workers in a parade of lights, sirens, horns, cookies, and applause. Twenty-six different first responder departments, including fire, EMS, sheriff, police, 911 dispatchers, and more throughout La Porte County participated in the grand gesture.
The Healthcare Foundation of La Porte has leveraged its strong relationships with local officials, community members, and organizations to create what will become a comprehensive online resource for those looking for La Porte County’s COVID-19 pandemic response information.