After several years of dreaming and planning ground was finally broken on the site of the future Franciscan St. Anthony Health -- Michigan City Hospital on May 3rd. The Franciscan Alliance was eager to begin construction on a project that will heal more patients than they have ever reached before.
Sister Jane Marie Klein, O.S.F, the Chairwoman of the Franciscan Alliance Board, said that, “Even the decision of where the hospital should be built was a long one. A wise man builds his house on rock, the Lord tells us. It does not fall, because it has its foundation on the rock.” She gestured to the sprawling plain behind her, between the meeting tent and a rapid highway. “We are blessed with a strong foundation.”
The Alliance and its community has been blessed with more than just a good plot of land. For 112 years the hospital has grown to accommodate its people. It has trained brilliant staff and acquired cutting edge technology.
“At an occasion such as this,” said Dr. Vidya Kora, M.D., the President of the Franciscan Alliance Northern Indiana Board and LaPorte County Commissioner, “We would be remiss to not express gratitude to all the Sisters, Physicians, Nurses, and other hospital staff who have preceded us.”
Medical Staff President Dr. Matthew Troy, M.D., expressed the importance of building a new hospital instead of continuing to update the current one. “Medicine is becoming more complex. A few simple things remain: a capable staff to care for people and a place for them to do that at. This commitment has been steady, and will endure.”
The new hospital will cost around 233 million dollars but is still more cost effective than a remodel. The current hospital will be filled with more services to help the public, so the building will not be abandoned, but many of its departments will be moved to Michigan City. The new facility is being constructed on 86 acres just off of Interstate 94 and Route 421.
“The new Franciscan St. Anthony Health hospital will offer 108 private inpatient beds,” said Dean Mazzoni, President and CEO of both hospitals, “And [it] will provide the full array of award-winning care and technological services and advances to which our patients have become accustomed.”
The ground, the foundation of rock that the community hospital will stand on, was blessed by the Most Reverent Donald J. Hying, the Bishop of the Diocese of Gary. His words about the project summarized the thoughts we all shared, with a beautiful picture of the future:
“This land has been waiting for millions of years for us to dream boldly. How many thousands of people will be healed?”