Franciscan Beacon hospital open by 2020

Photo by Jade GlabParticipating in the groundbreaking for the Franciscan Beacon Hospital in La Porte last week were, from left, Sister Petra Nielsen, vice president of mission integration at Franciscan Health Michigan City; Dean Mazzoni, president of Franciscan Health Michigan City; Sister Jane Marie Klein, chairwoman of the board of Franciscan Alliance; LaPorte Mayor Mark Krentz; Dr. David Fumo, Franciscan Physician Network medical staff president; Diane Maas, Beacon Health System chief planning officer; Kreg Gruber, Beacon Health System CEO; Dr. G. Larsen Kneller, Beacon Medical Group site director; and Jon Gilmore, Tonn and Blank president.

La PORTE – Franciscan Alliance and Beacon Healthcare System representatives gathered for a blessing and groundbreaking celebration of their new joint project on Friday.

The $21.6 million clinic is scheduled to be operational by 2020.

Kreg Gruber, CEO of Beacon Health Systems, explained how the ball got rolling.

“It really started with just relationships and conversation,” he said. “From there, we got great support from the community, physicians and staff. I was surprised to know that the physicians knew each other, and that they had long-standing relationships. They came together to talk about what made sense for the community.”

What made sense was a new hospital.

“What I think is important to know is that both of our organizations really do care about La Porte,” Gruber said. “They have been in La Porte County for years, caring for the people in these communities. This project, I think, is a great symbol of their commitment to continue that relationship in the community.”

Sister Jan Marie Klein, Franciscan Alliance board chair, said she’s been waiting more than 38 years for a community of healthcare providers to come together to better heal the community.

“I have all the confidence in the world that if we move forward together, this community will be well served, better served. We can work together much better than we can apart.”

The groundbreaking took place at what is currently the Beacon Medical Group clinic on I Street in La Porte. The clinic will be part of a major renovation, adding a 28,000-square-foot new building.

Dean Mazzoni, president and CEO of Franciscan Health Michigan City, said the real beneficiaries are the patients.

“They will benefit from the incredible talent they will be getting through the physicians and the healthcare providers who are going to be serving in this beautiful facility in the future. They are the beneficiaries and I think we all have a lot to look forward to.”

Mazzoni looked forward to the changes ahead.

“In today’s rapidly evolving healthcare industry, so much changes so quickly. It’s crucial that organizations embrace change, explore innovative models of healthcare delivery in the communities that they serve.”

The building will include a 10-bed emergency department, in addition to an eight-bed inpatient program, he said. The hospital will have new imaging and diagnostic equipment that will meet the needs of the 21st century.

Mayor Mark Krentz also mentioned the technology.

“This is going to be a high-quality facility with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment. Thank you so much for your compassion and commitment to our community.”

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