Franciscan Alliance Board of Trustees approves changes to Hammond hospital as part of system’s regional strategy

Franciscan Alliance Board of Trustees approves changes to Hammond hospital as part of system’s regional strategy

 In August 2021, Franciscan Alliance will begin the process of converting Franciscan Health Hammond into an eight-bed acute care hospital, emergency department and primary care location.

The Franciscan Alliance Board of Trustees has approved a $45 million investment in the 100-year-old facility to enable Franciscan Health to continue to provide vital healthcare services to the community, but on a smaller scale. The location will continue to provide 24/7 emergency services, along with inpatient care for short stays, imaging services, laboratory services, wound care, dialysis, prenatal care and primary care.

The neighboring Franciscan Health Catherine McAuley Clinic will continue its mission to provide healthcare to underserved and underinsured populations. Also, the Prenatal Assistance Program in Hammond will continue to provide expectant mothers with essential care.

“I want everyone to understand we are not closing the hospital. We are still committed to providing the highest quality healthcare to the City of Hammond and the surrounding communities for decades to come,” said Patrick Maloney, president and CEO of Franciscan Health Dyer, Hammond and Munster.

The impetus for this change comes partially from the expense of maintaining the infrastructure at Franciscan Health’s oldest Northwest Indiana facility, at 5454 Hohman Ave. The cost to upgrade older hospitals has already prompted the opening of a new Franciscan Health hospital in Michigan City and current construction of a new hospital in Crown Point. With another Franciscan Health hospital just 6 miles away in Munster, which has been newly renovated, Franciscan Alliance’s Board of Trustees believe that the changes to Franciscan Health Hammond can best serve the community’s needs in a way that doesn’t draw fiscal resources away from patient care.

The change also reflects a continuation of Franciscan Health’s strategy in Northwest Indiana to improve clinical outcomes and patient safety by developing specialized centers of excellence as we upgrade and modernize our facilities. For example, the

Franciscan Health Cancer Center Munster draws patients from throughout western Lake County and south suburban Illinois to a one-stop shop providing comprehensive cancer diagnosis, treatment and after-care.

“After extensive studies of our facilities and the Northwest Indiana market, it became clear that we needed to resize Franciscan Health Hammond for continued viability. We will remain in Hammond, but it would be impossible to remain here as we currently are,” said Cal Bellamy, chairman of the Board of Directors, Franciscan Alliance, Northern Indiana Division. “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.”

The full-service Emergency Department at Franciscan Health Hammond will continue providing 24/7 care. Patients who require surgery or a higher level of care will be transported to an appropriate hospital. Also, there are plans to keep approximately 10,000 square feet of shell space at the facility, if needed for future use.