Fort Wayne excited about possibility of third hospital network

WFFT has learned Indianapolis based IU Health plans to add facilities in the Summit City.

Posted: Oct 27, 2017 9:24 PM
Updated: Oct 27, 2017 9:24 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Fort Wayne is getting another major health care provider.

WFFT has learned Indianapolis based IU Health plans to add facilities in the Summit City.

IU Health announced last month it is opening Riley Children's Health Fort Wayne. It will be a dedicated outpatient pediatric specialty care office at 409 East Cook Road.

Now, speculation IU Health might build a hospital in the region has many people excited.

"I think a third option for Fort Wayne is good because Fort Wayne continues to grow," said Fort Wayne resident Brent Stachler.

IU Health entering the Fort Wayne market would mean more competition for the Lutheran Health Network and Parkview.

"I think it would drive down prices, at least it would kind of keep everyone honest," said Stachler.

Megan Grube said "I think it's great. I think the more health care options the better."

Fort Wayne city councilman Dr. John Crawford said with a third provider in Fort Wayne, the real winner would be patients.

"I think as a general rule, you'd get probably better lower prices and probably better in the long run by people competing with each other," said Crawford.

It's not clear exactly where the facility or facilities will go.

WFFT has learned IU Health is looking at three locations.

Two on the southwest side; one at the corner of Engle Road and Jefferson Boulevard and an empty lot at the corner of Illinois and Hadley Roads.

Another possible location is a field at the corner of Maysville Road and I-469 on the northeast side.

"I think by having this on this location, it provides another option and we're not driving a half hour in one direction," said Stachler.

Brian Bauer will be CEO of the IU Health Network in Fort Wayne.

He was CEO of the Lutheran Health Network until he was fired earlier this year after a group of Fort Wayne doctors tried to buy the network from Community Health Systems.

Crawford said he's not sure how a third network will affect the efforts CHS is making to rebuild its relationship with Fort Wayne.

"It's going to depend a lot on what happens. How good the new system is and whether the old system that's having problems can fix its problems," said Crawford.

IU Health told WFFT there are no plans to make an announcement, but published reports said it could come as early as Thursday.

Riley Children's Health Fort Wayne is expected to open in early 2018.

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