Newswise — The University of Chicago Medicine broke ground on a new two-story, 130,000-square-foot multispecialty care center and micro-hospital in Northwest Indiana for what will be the academic health system's largest off-site facility and its first freestanding building in Indiana.
The $121 million state-of-the-art care center, at I-65 and 109th Avenue in Crown Point, is expected to open in spring of 2024.
During the on-site groundbreaking ceremony on August 3, 2022, hospital leaders and Crown Point's mayor spoke about the benefits of the new care facility to the community and broader Northwest Indiana region.
“The University of Chicago is home to physicians and physician-scientists who are pioneers in their field. They bring research to the bedside with the most advanced treatments and high-quality, specialized care,” said Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Chicago and President of the UChicago Medicine health system. "We wanted to be able to offer people in Crown Point the same level of care that we do in Hyde Park on Chicago's South Side — and to make it more accessible and convenient for them. This will certainly be accomplished by this facility."
Since October 2021 when the initiative was first announced, plans for the new facility have evolved and grown. Hospital leadership worked with partners in the project and Crown Point officials to make sure the new facility can meet future healthcare demands of the Northwest Indiana community.
"We decided to add space to our original plans to build a 116,000-square-foot facility, so that we can meet the growing needs of patients and providers many years from now," said Tom Jackiewicz, President of the University of Chicago Medical Center, which serves as the hub for the UChicago Medicine health system. "We are adding almost 14,000 square feet to our earlier plan, which now means this facility will be 130,000 square feet over two stories."
The Crown Point care center will include:
- A micro-hospital with an eight-bed emergency department and a short-stay inpatient unit
- A comprehensive cancer center with infusion therapy as well as radiation, medical and surgical oncology
- An imaging center with MRI, CT, PET, X-ray and ultrasound capabilities
- An outpatient surgery center
- Laboratory services
- Medical offices with access to UChicago Medicine’s physicians and specialists, including those in cancer care, cardiology, digestive diseases, orthopaedics, neurosciences, pediatrics, primary care, surgical specialties, transplant care and women’s health
“We do a lot of work across the country with a lot of different healthcare providers, and it’s very rare to have this type of investment in a community,” he said. “Healthcare is social infrastructure. And with that comes tremendous opportunity and an equally great responsibility. The commitment and investment UChicago Medicine is making in this community will have a significant impact on the region, and we’re honored to be a small part of this major initiative.”
In addition to developer PMB, other partners in the project include Walsh Construction and architecture and design firm Perkins & Will.
The Crown Point center is expected to have 110,00 patient visits each year and create at least 150 high-paying clinical and nonclinical jobs.
“It’s exciting for me to know our residents will have close access to top-level physician care because of this campus and that the City of Crown Point will serve as home to such a prestigious medical group,” Crown Point Mayor Pete Land said during the ceremony.
Land added the City of Crown Point is excited to expand its development portfolio in and around the Beacon Hill Business District to include high-paying career jobs in the medical field.
The multispecialty care facility adds to the presence UChicago Medicine already has through smaller medical offices in Northwest Indiana — in Munster, Merrillville, Westville and Schererville.
Audre Bagnall, UChicago Medicine Executive Vice President of Business Development and Chief Strategy Officer, said partnerships and collaborations have been key to providing high-quality healthcare for Northwest Indiana residents and will continue to be so.
"We recognize the essential role community physicians and local hospitals play in care delivery in Northwest Indiana," she said. "Our physicians will continue to partner with them for their patients who need highly specialized care and to provide an integrated and seamless experience for everyone."
Ralph Flores Jr., a lifelong Northwest Indiana resident and majority owner in the new Crown Point-based Lake County Corn Dogs, said his baseball team and UChicago Medicine share a vision to improve the quality of life for residents and be active members of the community. UChicago Medicine recently signed a five-year deal to be the main sponsor of the Corn Dogs.
"The investment UChicago Medicine is making will be such a huge benefit to so many people for so many years to come," Flores said. "Welcome to the University of Chicago Medicine, and let's play ball!"