IU Health coming to Fort Wayne

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Staff reports

Indiana University Health announced plans to open a primary care medical office in Fort Wayne in 2018 in an emailed statement Friday.

The office will staff 15 physicians and advanced practitioners with the potential to increase, according to the announcement. The providers will be a part of a new IU Health physician group led by Dr. Geoffrey Randolph, a longtime Fort Wayne surgeon.

IU Health has not yet announced the exact location of the medical office, but it said it already has plans add other locations.

“IU Health forsees a long-term presence in the Fort Wayne market with more outpatient locations and additional health care investments coming over time,” the statement read.

IU Health maintains a partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine, which has operated a Fort Wayne campus since 1981 and has been looking to expand local clinical opportunities for physician training, according to the statement.

“We believe IU Health can have a positive impact on the health of the Fort Wayne community with an expanded presence that includes an initial primary care office and access to leading specialists within the IU Health academic medical system,” IU Health President and CEO Dennis Murphy said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to working with the community to bring IU Health’s resources to bear in serving the vital health care needs of the Fort Wayne area.”

Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) reacted to IU Health’s plans in an emailed statement Friday.

“The decision by IU Health to enter the Fort Wayne marketplace is great news for northeast Indiana. IU Health has a stellar national reputation, and will be a welcome and high-quality addition to our region’s strong health care presence,” he said in the statement.

Long also reacted to reports that Brian Bauer, former CEO of Lutheran Health Network, will lead IU Health’s Fort Wayne presence.

Both Bauer and Randolph were fired from LHN after a group of local doctors and others made an unsuccessful bid to buy the nine-hospital network from Tennessee-based parent company Community Health Systems.

“The fact that Brian Bauer will be the CEO of the organization means that a talented and experienced hand will be guiding the ship. All this is yet another positive sign that the northeast Indiana economy continues to surge forward,” he said in the statement.

A spokesman for IU Health confirmed that Bauer has been instrumental in the health system entering the Fort Wayne marketplace.

“IU Health has contracted with Brian Bauer to help develop our physician practice in Fort Wayne,” said Jeff Swiatek, a spokesman for IU Health.

In September, IU Health announced that Riley Children’s Health would open a pediatric specialty office in Fort Wayne in early 2018. The outpatient clinic, which will be located at 409 E. Cook Road, will feature 12 exam rooms and equipment for specific office-based procedures and diagnostic testing.

Pediatric urology and cardiology will be the first specialties to see patients at the Fort Wayne office, with additional specialties joining in the coming months.

IU Health currently has about 16 hospitals throughout northwest, central and southern Indiana.