The vision keeps growing. Five years ago the Franciscan Alliance Group opened the Emergency Center in Chesterton. Then, one year ago, the 24-hour Urgent Care Facility was made available and on Thursday afternoon, that vision expanded once more.
It was the opening of the second floor of the Franciscan Health Center in Chesterton, which now houses the Franciscan Health Women’s Center, Infusion Center, and the Franciscan Physician Network Orthopedics Office.
With a blessing and prayer made by Father Bill O’Toole and several sisters of the Franciscan Alliance, the staff members, along with the Duneland Chamber of Commerce, announced the opening to the community with a ribbon cutting and tour of the added on establishment.
On one side of the new floor is the Women’s Center. Members of the chamber, hospital staff, and community members were able to tour the rooms and view the equipment while enjoying free snacks, desserts, and champagne during the open house.
Becky Grove, the Administrative Director of Service Line Marketing, said the event started out just being the opening of the Women’s Center, however, with the completion of other services, the staff decided to throw one large celebration.
“The event morphed into a larger event for the second floor overall,” she said. “The Women’s Center has been open for a couple of weeks now. The building was built with a second floor, but they had not built through it.”
The first floor houses the Emergency and Urgent Care, as well as had physician offices. It held the rooms used for mammography screenings before they were transferred upstairs too.
With the mammography screenings in its own dedicated space now, the Chesterton center was able to upgrade to 3D Mammography. In this area, there is also the bone density screenings and other women’s services, like breast ultrasounds and screenings.
“What’s really nice is that you can come in for a mammogram and you can get your bone density checked at the same time,” Grove said.
The visitors could partake in free bone screenings, which were taken by staff biometric screeners, Jennifer Deenie and Latoya Monroe. The screening checks for osteoporosis by scanning the heel of the foot.
“It is the thickest bone,” Monroe said.
“Osteoporosis is more common in women, but we check both women and men,” Deenie added.
Massage therapists from the OMNI Health and Wellness Center, which is located down the street and owned by the alliance, were giving free chair massages. Duneland Chamber employee Jenilee Haynes said the massage was great and very relaxing. The President of the chamber, Maura Durham, helped organize the ribbon cutting, sharing with the Franciscan Alliance family yet another goal accomplished.
“It says a lot for the investment they have in the community. As far as Franciscan Alliance, they are one of our largest employers, not only in the Duneland area, but in the region,” Durham said. “What they have going on… they had the Emergency Center a few years ago, then the idea expanded to the Urgent Care and now the Women’s Center, and next year they are opening up a hospital 15 minutes down the road, which is still part of our area. Our community will benefit from everything Franciscan does.”
Their second floor work also includes a section for infusion, which includes blood, supplements, intravenous drips, and more.
“It is now a convenient place to go,” Grove said. “It is huge and there is so much natural light. It is very, very soothing and comfortable for patients.”
For the open house participants, employees were offering balance assessments and tests for Body Mass Index and blood glucose and pressure. The third part of the new floor was adding in more offices for the Franciscan Physician Network, opening up more space downstairs.
The offices are for family practitioners and physicians for the services offered at the hospital. All services and specialties of Franciscan Alliance are practiced and set forth with their vision and mission, which was stated at the beginning of the event by the President and CEO of Franciscan Health of Michigan City, Dean Mazzoni.
“I want to share with you our statement that leads us and guides our decisions,” he said. “Our mission is continuing Christ’s ministry in our Franciscan tradition. Our commitment is to be here today, tomorrow, and for many, many years to come, to provide great care.”
To learn more about Franciscan Alliance and more about the Women’s Center, click here.