Franciscan Hospital leaders reflected on the events of the past year as they kicked off a week-long anniversary celebration this past  Monday, gathering in the hospital lobby to thank staff members for their efforts.
Trish Weber, vice president of operations and chief nursing officer, tallied up the increases of the past year, with more babies delivered, a growing number of emergency room visits and additional operating room cases. Weber said the volume of cases has prompted the decision to add two new or suites at the hospital.Vice President of Clinical Support Services Jill Nygren said listening to the voices of patients and caregivers and taking staff members input has led to improvements in registration processes, wait times, scheduling and patient care. Sister Petra Nielsen pointed to the installation of the Safe Haven Baby Box as part of that mission, providing a safe place for a mother in crisis to leave her infant. The hospital has also provided tens of millions of dollars in community benefits, including charity care to those in need.Expanded services at the hospital include the new bariatric services program, the first in LaPorte County, and the GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) Clinic with state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment options. The past year has also seen expanded access to physician specialists in the areas of urology, interventional cardiology, cardiac electrophysiology and neurology.The site of the former Franciscan Health Michigan City on Homer Street is still in use, serving as a Franciscan ExpressCare facility and providing extended healthcare coverage to the area.