Lutheran announces plans for new downtown Fort Wayne hospital

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A rendering shows Lutheran Downtown Hospital in downtown Fort Wayne. CONTRIBUTED

FORT WAYNE — Lutheran Health Network announced Dec. 19 details for the Lutheran Downtown Hospital, which will replace the current St. Joseph Hospital.

The 60-bed acute care hospital will be situated at the southwest corner of Main and Van Buren streets, which is across the street from the existing hospital. The main entrance will be on Van Buren facing east.

The property is currently designated for physician and employee parking.

The decision to build the facility was based on Lutheran Health Network’s goals to stay downtown and remain an active participant in the area’s success.

“Long before the notion of ‘downtown revitalization’ began to materialize nearly a decade ago, Lutheran Health Network was already turning vision into reality through the ongoing modernization of St. Joseph Hospital and its campus,” said Mike Poore, regional president and CEO of Lutheran Health Network. “As we look to the future of healthcare and how it will be delivered in and around the heart of the city, this new facility will serve as a springboard to bigger and better things.”

Design work and planning with local officials will begin immediately.

Construction is expected to begin in summer of 2019 for the five-floor, 181,000-square-foot hospital. The completion date is set for late 2021.

Upon completion, Lutheran Downtown will include a 19-bed emergency department, a six-suite operating room, three cardiac catheterization labs, two gastroenterology suites, hyperbaric medicine, wound care, imaging services including MRI and CT, robotic-assisted surgery, laboratory services and the regional burn center.

Future plans include growing the facility to more than 100 beds.

“With input from its employees and members of the medical staff, the full scope of services available at Lutheran Downtown will continue to be solidified,” the company said in a statement. “The current facility, which has gone through many physical changes over the years, has limitations that make it more difficult to add today’s medical advancements and create an optimal environment for staff to deliver the experience patients need and expect.”

The attached medical office building on campus and the parking garage will continue to be utilized once Lutheran Downtown opens. At that time, the old hospital will be razed to allow for additional parking. The vacant plaza office building, which once housed the school of nursing, will also be demolished, according to the statement.