Lutheran Health Network announces that the new 60-bed Lutheran Downtown Hospital, located at the corner of Van Buren and West Main streets in Fort Wayne, will open for patient care Nov. 13. The community is invited to tour the facility 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 6.

“I am pleased that Lutheran Downtown Hospital will be completed months ahead of schedule,” Twilla Lee, CEO of Lutheran Downtown Hospital. “Our community is going to benefit from a hospital that is designed with the total patient experience in mind. We are thankful to the many individuals who contributed to this undertaking. We would like to especially acknowledge the construction team who diligently worked on this project, including Weigand Construction.”

Lee shared that there has been a broad multidisciplinary team working on a coordinated effort to move into the new hospital.

Lutheran Health Network’s current larger hospital next door, the 191-bed St. Joseph Hospital, 700 Broadway, which is currently home to a regional burn center and the Northeast Indiana Forensic Center, will eventually be demolished. Demolition is scheduled to begin in early 2022 and be completed by year’s end, Joy Lohse, Lutheran Health Network spokeswoman, said. Plans call for the space to be a new parking lot.

St. Joseph was Fort Wayne’s first hospital in 1869 in another building downtown and was operated by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. In 1998, the religious order sold the hospital and put part of the sale’s proceeds and local real estate holdings into their St. Joseph Community Health Foundation.

The new and old hospitals are expected to operate concurrently for a few hours.

“Both hospitals will be operating simultaneously beginning at 6 a.m. on Nov. 13,” explained Lee. “This will continue until the last patient is safely moved to their new location or discharged.”

It is expected that the move will be completed by noon or earlier that day.

Lutheran Health Network announced the new hospital in 2017 and construction began in 2019 on the 194,000-square-foot, $118 million project. Completion was originally set for 2022. Lutheran Downtown Hospital is owned in part by physicians.

The new five-story Lutheran Downtown Hospital will include a 60-bed acute care hospital with room to grow; 19-room Emergency Department, with an additional four secure hold rooms; an Intensive Care Unit; four surgery suites; three gastroenterology suites; robotic-assisted surgery; imaging services; and laboratory services.

Northeast Forensic Center will be relocated within Lutheran Downtown Hospital, according to Lohse.

More information about the community tour is available at www.lutheranhealth.net/lutheran-downtown-hospital.

For a virtual tour of the hospital, see https://vimeo.com/585513767/cf27a091e1.

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