Lawmakers endorse feasibility study for Gary teaching and trauma hospital

2012-10-23T19:00:00Z 2012-10-23T21:17:14Z Lawmakers endorse feasibility study for Gary teaching and trauma hospitalBy Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com
October 23, 2012 7:00 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | Gary officials and medical leaders have begun laying the legislative groundwork they hope will ultimately lead a new teaching hospital and trauma center in the city.

On Tuesday, state Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, and state Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, persuaded the General Assembly's Health Finance Commission to recommend existing state funds be rerouted to a teaching and trauma hospital feasibility study.

Lawmakers set aside some $3 million in 2011 for architectural and engineering work on the proposed hospital set to be located at Indiana University Northwest. But Brown said a study is needed first to demonstrate the need and to leverage additional federal and private funds.

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson told the commission the city isn't asking for a handout. Rather, it seeks an investment in the Broadway corridor that would pay off in several ways.

"The development of a trauma center in that same footprint would not only meet the health-care needs of an entire region, but it would also complement the development of the University Park area and economic development in the city of Gary," she said.

Northwest Indiana lacks a trauma center -- a facility more comprehensive than an emergency room that features on-site surgeons and doctors specially trained to treat traumatic injuries. Such injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans younger than 45.

The closest Indiana trauma hospital is in South Bend, though region residents and accident victims on area expressways are typically transported to Chicago trauma centers.

Patrick Bankston, director of the IUN School of Medicine, and Michael McGee, chief of emergency medicine at Methodist Hospital, said children and other trauma victims are put at risk from the lack of a nearby trauma center.

"As many as 35 percent of trauma patients will die because optimal acute care is not available," McGee said.

Following the presentation, state Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso, deputy chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said he believes "the stars are beginning to align" for the Gary teaching and trauma hospital plan. 

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



About Gary

City of Gary

City Hall Office of the Mayor
401 Broadway Gary, IN 46402
219.881.1302

Police Department

555 Polk St. Gary, IN 46402
219.881.1201
219.881.1214 Front Desk
219.881.1293 Fax

Fire Department

200 East 5th Avenue Gary, IN 46402
219.881.4779 - 24 Hour Business

Parks and Recreation

455 Massachusetts St. Gary, IN 46402
219.886.7099
219.881.0008 Fax

Gary Community School Corporation

620 East 10th Place Gary, IN 46402
219.881.5481