A $20 million project to reimagine the site of the former Franciscan Health Michigan City hospital is coming to fruition as community-focused services providing care for new mothers and the elderly begin.

The campus at 301 W. Homer St. has undergone partial demolition and renovation for the arrival of an inpatient behavioral health unit, the new Franciscan Senior Health and Wellness Program for the All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and the Prenatal Assistance Program.

On Dec. 6, the Prenatal Assistance Program opened its doors to expectant mothers, helping them receive access to vital prenatal care. The program is part of Franciscan Health Michigan City’s participation in the Safety PIN (Protecting Indiana’s Newborns) grant provided by the Indiana Department of Health and administered by Beacon Health System to lower infant mortality in Northern Indiana.

Prenatal Care Coordinator Jodi Perrine said the Prenatal Assistance Program is a central hub that provides prenatal and post-partum education and referral to a physician if a woman doesn’t already have one. It can also help navigate services, including Medicaid, WIC and SNAP. WIC, the supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children, already leases space in the same building.

The Prenatal Assistance Program includes a BABE store incentive program at the Homer Street campus. Expectant mothers and parents are offered incentives to earn coupons through prenatal appointments and attending parenting classes. The coupons may be redeemed at the BABE store for essential supplies, from diapers to childproofing essentials.

Franciscan Health Michigan City’s PACE program will begin on Jan. 1 but is already taking enrollments from those 55 and older in the geographic area covered by the program, including all LaPorte County, most of Porter County and part of St. Joseph County around New Carlisle.

No referral is needed to enroll in PACE, and DeSutter encourages those interested to call (219) 214-4619 to learn more and take a personal tour.

For more information, or to enroll in the Prenatal Assistance Program, call (219) 214-4700.