IU Health Adding La Porte Nursing Center

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Indiana University Health La Porte Hospital has announced an agreement with Warsaw-based Miller's Health Systems Inc. to operate a new skilled nursing care facility. The $10 million center is expected to open next year.

March 27, 2014

News Release

La Porte, Ind. -- The Board of Directors of IU Health La Porte Hospital approved a collaborative relationship with Miller's Health Systems, Inc., that will lead to a new skilled nursing care facility to be built in La Porte. The services currently provided on the hospital's 5th and 6th floors will be relocated there.

In announcing the decision, Thor Thordarson, President and CEO, IU Health La Porte Hospital indicated that the hospital has studied extensively the ways it could enhance continuity of care for patients as they complete their inpatient stays.

"For nearly 20 years, we've been able to do that with our present Continuing Care Center, but the two floors on which it is located lack the space and some of the features that we believe should be provided."

After exploring many options, Thordarson said they concluded that it was not possible for the hospital to provide the needed space within their current facilities and that a new free-standing skilled nursing facility was needed.

"We then set about determining the most appropriate and cost-effective way of providing it. At the same time, we recognized, as many other hospitals have, that long term care is a unique field that requires specialized management and systems. That led us to consider whether developing a partnership with an organization that shares our values and dedication to the continuity and quality of care would be advantageous. We looked at many organizations, but one of them, Miller's Health Systems, Inc., rose to the top."

Under the terms of the agreement approved, Miller's will become the operator of IU Health La Porte Hospital Continuing Care Center effective June 1, continuing to employ most, if not all, of the hospital's current employees. Patrick Boyle, Miller's' President and CEO, indicated his organization was committed to maintaining the high level of quality and continuity of care IU Health La Porte Hospital Continuing Care Center has been providing.

"We believe the transition will be positive for all involved, and are excited to be partnering with IU Health La Porte Hospital to make it happen. We are well along the way with the design of the new free-standing facility which we believe can be ready for occupancy in 2015. We estimate the investment will be in excess of $10 million."

The exact location for it has not yet been selected, but it will be in the City of La Porte.

Miller's Health Systems is based in Warsaw, Indiana, and was founded in 1964. They have over 3,000 employees that staff 32 long term care and rehabilitation centers (including facilities in Walkerton and New Carlisle), eleven assisted living facilities and a number of other health-related operations in Indiana, including several in collaboration with Indiana University Health. The company is one of only two 100% employee-owned long term care companies in the nation, ranking among the largest employee-owned companies.

Thordarson indicated that plans for the adaptive re-use of the hospital's 5th and 6th floors after the new long term care facility is occupied were not yet complete, but says, "There are many exciting possibilities that are currently being evaluated. We expect to announce those plans before the Continuing Care Center is relocated to its new facility"

Indiana University Health La Porte Hospital, a part of Indiana University Health, has provided leading care to La Porte and the surrounding community for more than 100 years. IU Health La Porte Hospital received Magnet re-designation, recognizing nursing care among the nation's top 6 percent of hospitals, while total hip replacement care is also nationally recognized. In addition, the stroke program earned the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers, and the cancer program received the 2009 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. To learn more about IU Health La Porte Hospital, visit iuhealth.org/laporte.

As the only nationally recognized healthcare system in Indiana, Indiana University Health is dedicated to providing a unified standard of preeminent care. A unique partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine—one of the nation's leading medical schools—and the depth of experience from the most complete network of highly skilled specialty and primary care physicians, gives IU Health unparalleled strength in delivering assurance to patients. Discover the strength at iuhealth.org.

Source: Indiana University Health