CHESTERTON, Indiana | While the COVID-19 pandemic closed countless facilities, Franciscan Emergency Center Chesterton, offering both 24-hour emergency and basic urgent care needs, is one that has remained open, continuing to provide care while taking steps to make sure patients are safe.

Upon entering the facility at 770 Indian Boundary Road, patients will be asked medical screening questions, have their temperature checked and be required to wear masks. Hand sanitizing stations and signs reminding visitors to practice social distancing are additional measures that have been taken. “Your health and safety are the most important to us. We’re here to care for you while taking appropriate precautions,” said Michael Combs, Nursing Manager for Emergency Services.

While coronavirus should be a concern, healthcare staff want to make sure it’s not an impediment to seeking care for other issues. A Mayo Clinic study shows that emergency department visits are down nationally by as much as 40 percent, but measures of how sick patients are have risen by 20 percent. “We want people to be safe, yet they need to pay attention to their symptoms. If they need to be seen, they should come in,” said Laura Fuller, Director of Emergency Services.

As the region’s only full-service, 24-hour freestanding emergency center staffed by boarded emergency physicians, the Franciscan Emergency Center Chesterton offers convenient access to care day or night. Advanced diagnostics with CT and Open MRI and laboratory services are also staffed at all hours. The facility includes private emergency department bays, including a pediatric room and a specially designed trauma room that provides 360-degree access to the patient. The Center of Hope provides compassionate and non-traumatic treatment of sexual assault victims. If a patient needs to be hospitalized, advanced EMS are available onsite to transport patients to the new Franciscan Health Michigan City hospital just minutes away.

For non-life threatening illnesses and injuries, the 24/7 urgent care services at the facility provide a quicker and less expensive option for walk-in care. For more information or directions to the center, call (219) 921-2000.