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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, July 21, 2019 1:00 am

Looking forward to Lutheran Downtown

Mark Medley

In 2022, the doors of Lutheran Downtown Hospital will swing wide open to reveal a beautiful new healing environment – a place where local residents will find medical expertise and modern technology, compassion, comfort and hope when it is needed most.

Building a completely new hospital is a major undertaking. It's a big investment. Lutheran will spend about $120 million to build our state-of-the-art facility, which will also create new construction jobs and generate more local revenue as we become part of the exciting development happening in downtown Fort Wayne.

When you see the bulldozers and cranes, and the concrete, steel, bricks and mortar, we hope you also see how much we care about Fort Wayne and how much we love being part of this community. We hope you see how devoted we are to providing high-quality health care across the region.

This has been our commitment for 150 years at St. Joseph Hospital. We've cared for more people than we could possibly count, including our own loved ones and neighbors up and down the street. As we make the transition to a new hospital, we're proud of our legacy and so grateful to the caregivers who have been the heart and soul of St. Joe – generation after generation.

Last week's groundbreaking ceremony marked much more than the beginning of a construction project. As we put symbolic shovels into the ground and turned some dirt, we also turned a page in our history – and we turned toward the future.

Now, it is time to look forward.

Across Lutheran Health Network we are working to create a better health care experience, especially in our hospitals. This includes a constant focus on quality as we work to achieve the best results for our patients, whether you come to us for heart surgery or a joint replacement, because you are in a fight against cancer, or to deliver your first baby.

We are aggressively recruiting more doctors – nearly 50 have joined us over the past year and 16 more are scheduled to join us before the end of 2019. We're adding more physician offices and other care locations because we want you to be assured that great medical care is always nearby.

We are thinking about health care from a patient's perspective by offering more same-day appointments, later hours and online scheduling because we know convenience is a necessity in this busy world.

We are establishing Patient and Family Advisory Councils to learn what matters most to you – so we can provide it.

Here's one thing we know about health care – we can always do better. At Lutheran we look forward to showing you how we will improve your health care experience. More than 1,000 physicians and providers and 7,000 employees who have chosen to be part of the Lutheran team look forward to caring for you and your family. And we look forward to building a stronger health care system because when we look out there, we see our home.

This is why we're building a new hospital in downtown Fort Wayne. Because when you need fast care in an emergency, when you need a hospital to help you recover from an illness or injury, when you need a doctor to help you achieve better health, we're absolutely going to be here – so you can look forward, too.

Mark Medley is regional president and CEO of Lutheran Health Network.