Published by The Times, By Vanessa Renderman
The next decade is expected to bring expansion and updates to Methodist Hospitals' campuses and the continued push to achieve a Level III trauma center designation, hospital officials announced Friday.
In his annual state of the organization address, Methodist Hospitals President and CEO Ian McFadden reflected on 2012 accomplishments and hospital finances before discussing plans for expanded programs and partnerships as well as updated facilities.
The long-term plans are not set in stone and still require approvals.
If approved, the three-phased plan would bring a new catheterization lab, expanded emergency department, upgraded modern rooms and new intensive care unit to the Northlake campus in Gary.
The hospital would have two intensive care units – 20 beds total – one of which could handle surgeries for trauma patients.
An existing medical building near the hospital at 650 Grant St. would be converted to a new medical office building with physicians offices, clinics and a cafeteria. It would connect to the main hospital, McFadden said.
Plans for the Southlake campus in Merrillville include upgrades to labor and delivery rooms. The hospital also plans to expand and strengthen its partnerships.
"This is going to be a year where we sit down with our partners and ask how Methodist Hospitals can assist you," he said.
Priorities for 2013 include developing its physician network, enhancing quality and growing in an era of health care reform, McFadden said.
Hospital officials plan to finish and submit a trauma center designation application to the state by the start of summer, develop a sleep disorder center, launch a lung care center and seek final approval for implementation of its facilities master plan, McFadden said.
The hospital invests $25 million to $30 million in facilities, programs and technology each year. It has 226 days cash on hand, while most hospitals average 140 days, McFadden said.
Numbers from 2011 show a 4.9 percent operating margin.
"It's been a good year for us," McFadden said.
He shared hospital highlights from 2012, including an employee retention rate above 80 percent, improved patient satisfaction scores, improved quality numbers and a host of awards.
A new emergency department opened at the Southlake campus, a new breast care center was unveiled and new equipment to allow minimally invasive procedures was installed, among other 2012 advances, he said.
Dr. Katrina Wright, president of Methodist Hospitals Medical Staff, thanked the hospital board for investing in state-of-the-art equipment and for seeking physicians' input decisions.
Methodist Hospitals Board of Directors Chairman William Braman said the board backs the hospital's plans for growth.
"The Board of Directors fully supports these plans and looks forward to the future of Methodist with great pride and confidence," he said.
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman Wilson congratulated hospital officials on another successful year.
"We are really excited about what the future holds for Methodist Hospitals and what that means for the city of Gary," she said.