Southsider Voice correspondent
Community Health Network announced last week that it is planning to build a health pavilion in Beech Grove. The center will fill a health-care facility void in the city since the closure and relocation of St. Francis Hospital in 2012.
Mayor Dennis Buckley said details are sketchy, but the pavilion is part of a $175 million expansion of Community East Hospital to serve Eastside and Southside residents.
The exact site has not yet been determined, but Buckley speculated that it could be near Beech Grove High School. “This is truly good news for the health-care needs of Beech Grove. This is a plus, and it shows that major corporations are investing in Beech Grove. I’m looking forward to seeing the doors open for the facility.”
He said the center would be the first of three health pavilions to be constructed in an area that also has been historically served by Community East Hospital, which was built in 1956 at 1500 N. Ritter Ave. CHN officials reaffirmed that the Beech Grove site is in phase one and should be open by late 2016.
The pavilion would include primary care offices, imaging and physical therapy among other services, according to spokeswoman Lynda DeWidt.
Officials emphasized that the pavilion will enhance the health of the municipality. Pavilion plans follow a CHN assessment of high regional incidences of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity.
Buckley affirmed that CHN’s expansion is not a part of a joint effort with Franciscan Alliance to redevelop the vacated and historical home of St. Francis at Sherman Drive and Albany Street.
Community East’s expansion calls for adding 17,000 square feet and nearly doubling patient rooms to 64; improvements to imaging departments; enlargement of ambulance bays and a new emergency entrance off Ritter; upgrades to the building’s electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems; and relocation of kitchen, security, inpatient pharmacy and wound therapy services.
CHN has a major presence on the Far Southside and Greenwood with Community Hospital South on County Line Road near U.S. 31. The network also operates centers at 333 E. County Line Road and at Stones Crossing Road and State Road 135.
“We are truly blessed that major companies are willing to invest in our city,” Buckley said on a Facebook posting last week.”
The announcement is another positive for the economic development in Beech Grove. It comes on the heels of a $30 million ADM Milling expansion, a $20 million Kinetrex Energy/LNG expansion, a new Klosterman distribution center, three new restaurants and a Beech Grove Senior NRP Group investing $8.8 million in a new senior community.