Fort Wayne healthcare provider Neighborhood Health has launched a $20 million capital campaign to help convert a 90-year-old, historic building into a community health center. The organization, which primarily serves Medicaid, Medicare, and Hoosier Healthwise patients, is renovating the former L.C. Ward education on the southeast side of Fort Wayne.
The healthcare operator currently runs two clinics in Fort Wayne. Once completed, the new location will offer a variety of healthcare needs, including primary care, dental services, and behavioral health counseling.
“It’s incredibly exciting to share our vision for the revitalization and repurposing of this historic facility – as well as the progress we’re already seeing in making that vision a reality,” said Angie Zaegel, president and chief executive officer of Neighborhood Health. “The redevelopment and expansion taking place here will significantly impact our ability to bring much-needed care to this proud, historic community. This facility will help make great strides and progress in addressing the unique and persistent health care needs of these residents.”
Fort Wayne Community Schools has owned the building since 1931 and closed it in 2017 due to extensive repairs that were needed. The building was slated for demolition, but neighbors and elected officials thought there might be another option. FWCS transferred ownership of the property to Neighborhood Health in January 2020.
Initial renovation work began earlier this year. Zaegel says transforming the building into a modern, state-of-the-art medical facility requires significant investment.
“The projected costs represent a challenge, but they also represent our commitment to increasing positive health outcomes in this community,” said Zaegel. “It’s a communal effort and as such we need everyone’s support to make it a success. We know that multiple funding sources are vital to not only initiate the project, but to give it long term sustainability and the ability to scale to the need.”