Northwest Indiana health briefs - February 24, 2017

Courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana • February 24, 2017

Written by Times Staff

Franciscan Health opens new Women’s Center, Infusion Center

A blessing and dedication celebration for the new Franciscan Health Women’s Center Chesterton took place Feb. 16. The event at the Franciscan Emergency Center Chesterton, which houses the new center, also marked the opening of a new Infusion Center and Franciscan Physician Network offices, at 770 Indian Boundary Road.

The Women’s Center’s services include the latest mammography screening equipment, breast ultrasound and bone mineral density testing.

For more information about the Infusion Center, call (219) 921-2080; the Women’s Center, (219) 877-1980.

LaPorte Hospital offers natural childbirth class

Women who would like to experience a water labor or birth, and explore options for delivering without medications, are welcome to attend the Natural Childbirth Class from 6 to 8 p.m. March 21 at LaPorte Hospital.

The program is open to mothers, and a support person, at approximately 32 weeks of pregnancy. All those who attend are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing. The cost for the class is $30 per couple, and registration is required by calling 219-326-2444. The next class after that is April 18.

The Birthing Center at LaPorte Hospital is the newest unit at the hospital. The center features a centralized security monitoring system for infant safety; 10 suites for labor, delivery, recovery and post-partum; private bathrooms and showers; two whirlpool tub suites for water labor and birthing; two family refreshment centers; three medical observations/examination rooms; and foldout couches for a support partner. Tours are available of the unit by calling 219-326-2373.

Methodist Hospitals offers walk-in clinic hours at Midlake Campus

Residents of the Gary community now how have access to prompt illness and injury care offered by Methodist Hospitals Nurse Practitioners at the Midlake Campus in Gary. Current hours of operation are from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

Common conditions treated at the clinic include colds, flu, fever and sore throat, minor burns and rashes, laceration treatment, suture and staple removal, diarrhea nausea, vomiting and food poisoning, urinary and bladder infections, bug bites and stings, sprains and earaches and sinus infections. Other services include wart removal, wellness and physical exams, X-rays and general vaccinations, immunizations and flu shots.

Midlake Campus is at 2269 W. 25th. Ave. No appointments are required and most insurance plans are accepted.

Community earns Women’s Choice Award

When it comes to making women and their health concerns a top priority, the hospitals of Community Healthcare System continue to be recognized as leaders in quality care.

Community Hospital in Munster, St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart have been named among America’s Best Hospitals for Heart Care by the Women’s Choice Award.

The award signifies that these Northwest Indiana hospitals are positioned in the top 9 percent of 4,789 U.S. hospitals offering heart care services.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of American women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year — approximately one woman every minute. What is often thought of as a “man’s disease” strikes more women than men, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.

The hospitals of Community Healthcare System operate one of the largest cardiovascular programs in Northwest Indiana, offering a high level of expertise in performing diagnostic testing, cardiac and peripheral interventions, open heart and valve surgeries, cardiac rehabilitation, heart failure management and disease prevention.

Community Hospital, St. Catherine Hospital and St. Mary Medical Center have earned national accreditation as Chest Pain Centers. Heart attack patients are treated and stabilized from the first point of contact when the chances of recovering are greatest.

Website helps Indiana job seekers find careers in nursing, assisted living

The Indiana Health Care Association/Indiana Center for Assisted Living has launched, the first website to offer comprehensive information on skilled nursing and assisted living careers in Indiana. provides information on a range of careers available at skilled nursing and assisted living facilities throughout Indiana, including education requirements, salaries and paths for career advancement. The site also links individuals seeking educational opportunities, internships or job placements with facilities looking to fill those roles.

A nonprofit trade association for skilled nursing, assisted living and senior independent living communities in Indiana, IHCA developed the website to serve the needs of its members, who often wrestle with staffing shortages. According to Forbes, occupational therapy assistants and aides, physical therapists and PT assistants and aides are all among the top 10 fastest-growing occupations.

Free mammograms in LaPorte, Starke counties

The Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte once again will be able to provide mammogram vouchers to uninsured or underinsured women in LaPorte and Starke counties who do not have the resources to pay for these services. The Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust awarded an $18,000 grant for 2017 to continue The Foundation Breast Cancer Project.

The Foundation Breast Cancer Project is an established comprehensive effort to encourage and educate women about breast health and the importance of early detection since 2005.

This project provides screening mammograms and diagnostic mammography services to uninsured women who meet high-risk criteria or are 40 and older. To see if they qualify for a voucher for a free mammogram, women should contact their LaPorte or Starke County physician’s office and mention the mammogram voucher program.

All Indiana residents may purchase an Indiana breast cancer awareness license plate by visiting their local Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch or the BMV website at Of the $40 specialty plate fee, $25 is a direct tax-deductible donation to IBCAT. The plate can be purchased for use on trucks and recreational vehicles up to 11,000 pounds, passenger cars and motorcycles.