In anticipation of the Jan. 12 opening, the new Franciscan Health Michigan City made its long-awaited debut with a hospital blessing and a series of open houses that showcased a $243 million project 2-1/2 years in the making. The celebration kicked off on Dec. 6 with the Rite of Blessing of the Altar and Dedication of the Chapel, presided over by Most Rev. Donald Hying, bishop of the Diocese of Gary. The blessing and dedication of the hospital followed, along with a VIP reception and open house that drew more than 500 guests. On Dec. 7, Franciscan Health employees got their chance to tour the hospital. The events culminated with the public open house on Dec. 8, where an estimated 3,000 community members got their first glimpse of the future of healthcare, enjoying self-guided tours, free health screenings, live ice sculptures and giveaways.