The blessing of the Comprehensive Outpatient Therapy Clinic at Franciscan Physician Network St. John Health Center is “a dream come true,” according to Revathy Ameeruddin, medical director at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Franciscan St. Margaret Health.
“This is a long-awaited program,” Ameeruddin said. “We have always had to send patients to Homewood, Illinois and we have been waiting for this program for a long time.”
The unit, which has a tentative opening date of March 1, was blessed and dedicated on Thursday in St. John.
The blessing was read by Fr. Tony Janik, director of pastoral care at St. Anthony Health in Crown Point.
“Let us ask for God’s blessing on all those who will be patients here and on those who will devote themselves to caring for the functionally impaired; and let us ask the divine blessing on this Comprehensive Outpatient Therapy, erected for the care of the sick,” he said.
Gene Diamond, CEO of Franciscan Alliance, Northern Indiana Region, called the newly constructed outpatient unit “a beautiful place.”
“We bless and dedicate everything invoking the province with the hand of God,” he told a crowd of about 50 gathered to celebrate the opening. “Many of the people who come here will have suffered some major physical insult and this will serve as a refuge for them.”
This type of facility, Diamond said, is “a first of its kind” in Northwest Indiana.
“Patients in the region can now be healed near their support network,” he said.
Christine DeLeo, speaking for Peggy Kirk, senior vice president and chief clinical operating officer at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, said she is “thrilled to partner with the Franciscan Alliance.”
“We are delighted to be here and grow our program through the Franciscan Alliance,” she said.
Barbara Gulden, vice president of the St. John Chamber of Commerce, said the Commerce is “very grateful” to have this partnership in the community.
Michael A. Owens will be one of the doctors stationed at the new location at 10860 Maple Lane in St. John.
“This is the culmination of several months of planning by a host of people with incredible support of the Franciscan Alliance,” Owens said.