Hospital Site Advances

October 13, 2005
By Tom Wyatt - Post Tribune staff writer

This land acquisition was brokered by Commercial In-Sites for Pinnacle Healthcare…….

 Officials break ground for physician-owned facility at Ameriplex

     MERRILLVILLE – They’re doctors, not construction workers. So, naturally, the board of managers for Pinnacle Healthcare initially forgot to don their ceremonial construction hats at Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony of a physician-owned hospital at the Ameriplex at the Crossroads business-technology park.

     After a friendly reminder, the hats were placed, the shovels were raised and the first commercial building at the town’s much-revered site was officially pronounced. It’s a $25 million undertaking for a facility that will boast four operating rooms, 18 beds, an intensive care unit, and full diagnostic services. 

     Promoted as a full-service hospital, it will be close. But at this point, no plans have been made for an obstetrics unit.  The 60,000 square foot hospital is slated to open in spring 2007.  “It’s a dream not about bricks and mortar, but a dream about how health care is delivered,” board secretary Dr. Eric Leetsma said.

     Larry Mudd, project director for Holladay Properties, proudly opened the ceremony by directing the attention of those in attendance to the Purdue Technology Center off to their right, and the Purdue Calumet Academic Learning Center behind them.  Those two facilities currently are the only two on the Ameriplex site. That soon will change.

     “This represents a bold new process,” Town Manager Tim Brown said, referring to the special combined commercial and industrial zoning applied to the Ameriplex site.  President of the hospital’s board, Dr. K.J. Singh, said the goal of the physician-owned hospital is to put the control of health care back in the hands of the doctors and to strengthen patient-doctor relationships. He said the hospital will provide “university-quality health care.”

     The hospital’s CEO will be Rick Ferguson, who has spent the last four years as CEO of an orthopedic/physician-owned hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “This is that one giant leap that brings concept to reality,” Ferguson said.


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