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Health care providers continue to plan development

The Allen County Redevelopment Commission approved Parkview's plans for new medical offices out by its regional medical center.

Posted: Feb 14, 2018 10:27 PM
Updated: Feb 15, 2018 8:47 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Health care providers are continuing to expand in Fort Wayne.

The Allen County Redevelopment Commission approved Parkview's plans for new medical offices out by its regional medical center.

Meanwhile, Lutheran Health Network continues to search for a new location downtown to build a new hospital and IU Health also planning to open offices in Fort Wayne.

One reason Parkview is planning to build new medical offices is the land around Parkview Regional Medical Center is in the county's newest economic development area.

The tax money generated from those offices would help pay for infrastructure improvements in the area.

People in Fort Wayne said the city needs those extra offices, no matter who the provider is.

"I think the more the better," said Kimberly Cox.

Cox is living in Fort Wayne while she gets her doctorate in pharmacy.

She said she sees a need for new doctor offices in the region.

"The more facilities we have available, the more chance they have to get those opportunities to the proper health care that they need," said Cox.

Parkview Health said it hopes to provide those opportunities.

"I think it's wonderful. We go see the doctor quite a bit for Naomi here," said Fort Wayne resident Alysa Monnier.

Over the next 10 to 15 years Parkview plans to build out patient centers on the land it owns between Parkview Regional Medical Center and Union Chapel Road.

"We're already experiencing an increase and expect to continue experience a shift from the need of inpatient to outpatient services," said Parkview Health Communications Director Eric Clabaugh.

Clabaugh said they are hiring about 100 new doctors every year.

Initially the new development on the regional campus will be primary care doctors in the Parkview Physicians Group, like the facility being built on Clinton Street.

"We will also be paying close attention to the different specialists that we will want to recruit to the area as well as we enhance our services in a variety of areas," Clabaugh said.

This comes as IU Health is making plans to build outpatient facilities in Fort Wayne.

Last month, IU Health put up signs on two empty lots in the area announcing plans to move into the area.

An IU Health spokesman told WFFT Wednesday it isn't ready to release what they plan to do with the land.

However, Monnier said she'd like to see another provider in the area soon.

"We do have quite a few, which seems like a lot but I think it is necessary and a great thing," she said.

Still, Cox is hoping providers follow through and pay attention to the type of specialists needed in the Summit City.

"I'd like to see a focus on mental health. We talk about the opioid epidemic, but we don't really talk about why people use opioids," said Cox.

The Lutheran Health network is also looking at expanding in the area.

In 2017, LHN announced plans to build a new hospital somewhere downtown replacing the current St. Joseph Hospital.

A LHN spokesman told WFFT leaders narrowed it down to two possible locations. They expect to make an announcement about the new location by the end of March.

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