Inside INdiana Business

Franciscan approves changes to Hammond hospital

(photo courtesy of Franciscan Alliance)

HAMMOND, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The board of trustees for Mishawaka-based Franciscan Alliance has approved a $45 million investment in the Franciscan Health Hammond hospital. The health system says the project will convert the 100-year-old facility into an eight-bed acute care hospital emergency department and primary care location.

Franciscan says the facility will continue to provide healthcare services to the community, but on a smaller scale. Once the project is complete, the hospital will continue to provide 24/7 emergency services, as well as inpatient care for short stays, imaging and laboratory services, wound care, dialysis, prenatal care and primary care.

Cal Bellamy, chairman of the Franciscan Alliance, Northern Indiana Division board, says the decision to resize Franciscan Health Hammond followed “extensive studies” of the health system’s facilities in northwest Indiana.

“We will remain in Hammond, but it would be impossible to remain here as we currently are,” Bellamy said in a news release. “The changes we are making in Hammond fit into our regionally-based plan for care. They also reflect the growing trends in the healthcare industry, which de-emphasize inpatient beds in favor of increased preventative care, along with virtual care, allowing patients to be treated in the comfort of their homes.”

Franciscan Health Hammond is the health system’s oldest facility in northwest Indiana and the cost of maintaining the hospital also played a factor in the change. Another Franciscan hospital just six miles away in Munster was recently expanded as well.

The health system says patients who require surgery or a higher level of care will be transported to “an appropriate hospital.” The facility will also maintain about 10,000 square feet of shell space for future use, if needed.