Press release by Franciscan Health:

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. – Franciscan Health Michigan City and community leaders are looking back with praise and thanks as the hospital marks five years in its current location.

“Our people make the difference and our people make us great,” said Franciscan Health Michigan City President and CEO Dean Mazzoni. “This building would be nothing without the Franciscan people here doing the work that they do.”

The hospital opened at 3500 Franciscan Way on Jan. 12, 2019. The 425,000-square-foot hospital, built by Tonn & Blank, has 123 private inpatient rooms and outpatient services with advanced diagnostic equipment. The project began with a groundbreaking in 2016.

The opening marked a move from the previous location at 301 W. Homer St.

Franciscan Alliance first opened in that location in November 1904 under the name St. Anthony Hospital.

“We’re so blessed that we have co-workers who have been with us for 10, 20, 30, 40 years,” said Sister Petra Nielsen, O.S.F., vice president of mission integration at Franciscan Health Michigan City. “Some of them were born in that hospital, had their career in that hospital and then we were leaving it so there was that nostalgia but also the excitement of what was possible.”

The Homer Street building, now known as the Legacy Campus, is continuing the Franciscan values of compassionate concern and Christian stewardship and now houses Franciscan’s inpatient behavioral health unit, the Prenatal Assistance Program and the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) program.

Before the new hospital opened to the public, a blessing ceremony and chapel altar dedication took place.

“That chapel is the connection with the sisters,” Nielsen said. “It’s also Christ’s physical presence with us in the building.”

Mazzoni said he remembers the move to the new hospital occurring early on a snowy Saturday morning.

“The other thing I remember very clearly was, in the lobby, greeting every patient that was transported from St. Anthony’s to the Franciscan Health facility, was Sister Jane Marie (Klein), our chairwoman of the board, and she would wrap every patient that came in on an ambulance stretcher with a warm blanket and welcome them to the new hospital,” Mazzoni said.

Northwest Indiana Forum President and CEO Heather Ennis said the hospital’s new location is a key asset to the community and the Region.

“Being right there on I-94 has really opened the hospital up to accessibility for more folks that feel like that’s a place that they want to go and a place where they’re going to and get quality care,” Ennis said.

Ennis said the hospital is helping spur additional development nearby while contributing to the economic vibrancy of the city.

“The downstream revenue from a hospital investment is amazing,” Ennis said. “As economic developers, we don’t look at any single investment as just a straight investment. We look at it as long-term impact. The investment in Michigan City has helped to grow that community.”

Mazzoni said there was, “a great outpouring from our community toward our healthcare workers during COVID,” including donations of supplies, financial contributions, meals and more.

He recalled community members placing signs along the driveway into the hospital campus with inspirational messages and thanks for the healthcare workers who continued to live the healthcare ministry’s mission throughout the pandemic.

“It’s more than a healthcare system, it’s more than a job,” Nielsen said. “We’re doing God’s work and I see that witnessed each and every day in every single person I encounter.”

More information about Franciscan Health Michigan City is available online or by phone at (219) 879-8511.