Lutheran Health Network plans $500 million investment
Half-billion dollar commitment will enhance patient care, expand health services and upgrade facilities
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (May 11, 2017) – Lutheran Health Network announced today that it is launching a major, multi-year capital investment plan to enhance patient care, increase access to health services and upgrade its hospital facilities. The $500 million investment will positively impact thousands of patients in the region who seek the highest level of healthcare.
“Combined with our continued investment in the employees of LHN, this significant plan underscores our commitment to provide top-quality care for our patients,” said Brian Bauer, chief executive officer, Lutheran Health Network. “We are going to improve and expand our hospitals and we’re doing it with a focus on modernized designs that create the best possible experience for our patients – and a streamlined, effective environment for the physicians and employees who deliver care. Our various boards, medical staffs, patients and employees will be engaged in developing and finalizing these investments to serve our communities.”
The capital plan will touch nearly every entity that is part of Lutheran Health Network, beginning with numerous investments at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, including the following projects:
FACILITY REFRESH: Top to bottom renovation of Lutheran Hospital to upgrade and update numerous patient and guest services areas with a focus on convenient access, modern design and efficient patient care.
EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT EXPANSION: Major renovation of the hospital’s emergency department, including a new eight-bed transition unit for short-term patient monitoring, which will free up exam and treatment space during busy periods to improve patient wait times. Phase one of this project will begin the week of May 15.
HEART AND VASCULAR CENTER: Development of a comprehensive outpatient cardiovascular center attached to the existing heart pavilion to bring all specialized services and cardiovascular physician practices to one facility for ease of patient access.
ADVANCED DIGESTIVE TREATMENT CENTER: Consolidation of two separate endoscopy suites, diagnostic testing and therapeutics into one advanced care setting to increase availability of procedures for the growing number of patients with digestive concerns.
OUTPATIENT CENTERS: Multiple new outpatient centers providing close-to-home urgent and walk-in care, diagnostic imaging, laboratory, family medicine, therapies and other healthcare services in counties beyond Allen County.
“This is a transformative investment that will modernize Lutheran Hospital and take patient care to the next level,” said Bauer. “We are really excited to begin the design work immediately and expect to start and complete some of the construction this year. We will announce additional capital projects across the network as details are finalized with a goal of completing the entire half-billion dollar investment over five to six years. In addition to improving our network facilities, this investment will create construction jobs and have a positive economic impact on our communities.”
Lutheran Health Network estimates its economic impact was approximately $618 million in 2016. The network paid local taxes totaling $17.7 million.
Lutheran Health Network is also making other important investments to serve residents of northeastern Indiana. Over the past seven years, 173 physicians have been recruited to network hospital medical staffs, including primary care physicians and specialists in areas such as neurology, cardiology, orthopedics, general surgery and emergency medicine. Physician recruitment remains a top priority in 2017, with seven new physicians already recruited this year.
“As we invest in our facilities, we know how important it is to build a strong medical team, so we are also growing our physician base,” said Bauer. “We currently employ more than 300 physicians and nurse practitioners and we also work closely with many independent physicians who have chosen Lutheran for their patients because of our commitment to high-quality, safe patient care.”
The $500 million capital investment planned over the next several years is in addition to approximately $400 million invested in Lutheran Health Network over the past decade. Lutheran Health Network facilities that will be included in the overall capital investment include Bluffton Regional Medical Center, Dukes Memorial Hospital, Dupont Hospital, Kosciusko Community Hospital, Lutheran Hospital, The Rehabilitation Hospital of Fort Wayne, St. Joseph Hospital and The Orthopedic Hospital.