MICHIGAN CITY – Franciscan Health Care New York It’s been five years since the hospital moved to its current site. People in charge of the city and the community are thankful and full of praise.
“Our people make the difference, and they make us great,” Dean Mazzoni, President and CEO of Franciscan Health Michigan City, said. “The Franciscans who work here would not be able to do their jobs without this building.”
On January 12, 2019, the hospital opened at 3500 Franciscan Way. Tonn & Blank built the 425,000-square-foot hospital, which has 123 private rooms for patients and outpatient services with high-tech testing tools. In 2016, the first stone was pushed on the project. The move from the old site at 301 W. Homer St. was marked by the opening. It was first called St. Anthony Hospital when Franciscan Alliance opened there in November 1904.
“We feel so lucky to have coworkers who have been with us for 10, 20, 30, or even 40 years,” said Sister Petra Nielsen, O.S.F., who is in charge of mission integration at Franciscan Health Michigan City. “Some of them were born in that hospital, worked there, and were leaving it, so there was both sadness and excitement about what could happen.”
The building on Homer Street, which is now called the Legacy Campus, continues the Franciscan values of caring for others and being a good Christian steward. It is now home to Franciscan’s inpatient mental health unit, the Prenatal Assistance Program, and the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) program. Prayers and a blessing service were held at the new hospital before it opened to the public.
Nielsen said, “That chapel is the link to the sisters.” “Christ is also physically present with us in the building.” He said that the move to the new hospital happened early on a snowy Saturday morning.
I also remember very clearly that our chairwoman of the board, Sister Jane Marie Klein, would greet every patient coming in on an ambulance stretcher from St. Anthony’s to the Franciscan Health facility in the lobby with a warm blanket. This was to welcome them to the new hospital, Mazzoni said.
Heather Ennis, President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum, said that the hospital’s new position is a big plus for the community and the Region. “Being right on I-94 has really made the hospital easier for more people to get to…they feel like that’s a place they want to go and will go to get good care,” Ennis said. Ennis said the hospital is helping to bring about more growth in the area and making the city’s economy stronger.
“It’s amazing how much money a hospital investment brings in later,” Ennis said. “As people who work to improve the economy, we don’t just see one investment as an investment.” It has an effect on us in the long run. The money that was put into Michigan City has helped it grow. It was “a great outpouring from our community toward our healthcare workers during COVID,” according to Mazzoni. This included food, money, tools, and more.
He remembered that people in the community put up signs along the driveway to the hospital grounds with encouraging words and thanks for the healthcare workers who kept doing the work of the healthcare ministry during the pandemic. Schmidt Nielsen said, “It’s more than a job or a health care system.” “Every day I meet someone who shows that they know we’re doing God’s work.”