Methodist lays out plans for renovation - May 2, 2014

Courtesy of the Times

GARY | With an interim leader at the helm, Methodist Hospitals is guiding the company along a path of expansion, renovation and investment.

The hospital on Friday hosted its annual state of the organization address, with Dr. Michael Davenport, president and interim CEO, making key comments about the company’s future.

He described a three-phase, 10-year upgrade plan to the hospital campuses.

The plan includes renovation of the emergency department at the Northlake campus in Gary, including creating individual rooms instead of curtain partitions.

The hospital wants to build a new 12-bed intensive care unit and upgrade patient rooms at both campuses, he said.

Plans call for a medical office building with greater capacity, including a new first floor dining facility, medical office space and outpatient clinic space.

Methodist also wants to upgrade its Labor and Delivery unit at the Southlake campus in Merrillville.

Davenport also stressed the desire for Methodist to achieve Level III trauma center designation. He expects the application to be submitted this year.

“We already operate at that level,” he said.

Ideally, the Region needs a Level I center, or a Level 2 center at least, he said.

There are none in Northwest Indiana.

Methodist Hospitals experienced a 4.85 percent increase in emergency department visits last year, for a total of 63,930, Davenport said.

Friday’s address included a reflection on the hospital’s awards and achievements over the past year and recognition of its community partnerships.

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and Merrillville Town Councilman Shawn Pettit lauded the hospital for its contributions to the community.

When prospective developers visit town, among the services they ask about is health care, Pettit said, adding Methodist Hospital is the largest employer in Merrillville.

Freeman-Wilson said the hospital is a true community partner in it for the long haul.

“It’s very clear that Methodist Hospital is more than a place where you simply get well,” she said.