MICHIGAN CITY – It was 114 years ago that the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration established their hospital in Michigan City.

And at their new facility on the city’s south side, the Sisters will resume their mission of “continuing Christ’s ministry in our Franciscan tradition” of showing “love, empathy and special attention to the least among us,” hospital President Dean Mazzoni said Thursday.

He was addressing a packed lobby during a VIP reception at which specially invited guests celebrated the hospital’s grand opening with guided tours and parting gifts.

The Most Rev. Bishop Donald Hying received the initial tour, and blessed each room of the new facility as he went.

“I think it’s significant for Michigan City and for the region that a hospital of this size and importance – and also 21st century, state-of-the-art technology – has been built,” Hying said, “because it’s going to be a great anchor for the community and a great source of healing and blessing for so many people.”

Earlier in the day, he blessed the altar and celebrated the first-ever Mass in the hospital’s chapel, which he consecrated.

During the Mass, the bishop remarked that the chapel’s initial “empty presence” had suddenly become “filled with Christ – forever.”

“This is an extension of time and space, of brick and mortar and glass, of the mission and the presence of Jesus Christ,” he said.

Mazzoni said the 440,000-square-foot, 123-bed hospital was designed by healthcare professionals – from doctors and nurses to housekeepers and maintenance workers – with the patient in mind.

“Everything we’ve thought about, everything that’s been implemented here, is for better, safer patient care and quality of care,” he said.

“It’s been a great journey, and this location right here on the corner of (I-94) and (U.S. 421) provides great access for the region. This is a blessing for all of Northern Indiana.”

Trish Weber, vice president and chief nursing officer at the hospital, said she’s excited for three years of planning and vision to come to fruition.

“We will move our patients on Jan. 12, so we’ll officially be in our new home on that day,” she said. “We’re excited to showcase our new facility and all the safety features that are inside the building.

"The staff and the physicians had great input on the design and the equipment purchasing, and we’re just so proud of the outcome and being able to serve the community for another hundred years to come.”

Hospital employees will get a closer look at the facility at an open house on Friday.

Sneak peek for public

The public is welcom to glimpse "the future of healthcare" at the new Franciscan Health Michigan City hospital during an open house celebration from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Nadeau’s Ice Sculptures will do live ice carving demonstrations each hour between noon and 3 p.m. outside, while inside, Bee Giggles Entertainment will provide balloon art twisting and airbrush body art.

Visitors can enjoy entertainment and refreshments as they tour the new hospital, and gain insight into their own health through free screenings, including body mass index, bone density, hepatitis C, blood glucose, pulse oximetry, balance/fall risk assessment and blood pressure.

Visitors can also win door prizes and giveaways, including an Apple iPad, Amazon Echo Spot, Omron blood pressure monitor, mountain bike and the grand prize – an Orlando theme park vacation.

The hospital is located at the northwest corner of U.S. 421 and I-94. Turn west on CR-400N (Kieffer Road) and then south on Franciscan Way.

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