Franciscan Health hospitals 'growing and rocking and rolling'

Patrick Maloney, the president and chief executive officer of Franciscan Health Hammond, Dyer, and Munster addresses the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce in Hammond Friday.

Franciscan Health has been growing and rolling out expanded services as it seeks to give patients more reason to seek treatment in their backyard instead of venturing into Chicago, said Patrick Maloney, president and CEO of Franciscan Health Hammond, Dyer and Munster.

Maloney and other Franciscan officials touted the hospitals' successes at a Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce luncheon Friday in an eighth-story conference room at the hospital in downtown Hammond.

"Franciscan employs 18,000 full- and part-time employees," Lakeshore Chamber President and CEO Dave Ryan said. "Just think of the impact their payroll has on the communities they serve. Franciscan is an integral piece of the health care system in Northwest Indiana."

Maloney became CEO of the three local hospitals in 2016.

"I promised when I came here two and a half years ago there would be a lot of growth," he said. "And I am very pleased to report we have seen a lot of growth in Hammond, Munster and Dyer. The Michigan City hospital on Interstate 94 has opened. That opened in January and their growth has gone great. Anyone who's read anything about health care has read that everything's going outpatient. You're not going to have inpatient anymore. Hammond, Munster and Dyer are up 10% on their inpatient discharges this year compared to last year. So we're going and rocking and rolling."

The hospitals also have focused on improving quality during Maloney's tenure.

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"With customer satisfaction, at the Hammond hospital alone, our patient experience scores every single month in 2019 have been going in the right direction," he said. "We're starting to hit our peak, where we need to be going."

Franciscan Health has expanded a number of services, including bariatric surgeries in Dyer.

"In this area, we struggle with weight," Franciscan Health Business Director Kathy O'Donnell said. "It's not because they're not trying hard. They've tried a million diets. Weight-loss surgery is a tool to successfully live a longer, stronger life. That program has grown so much. It can help you on a journey to weight loss, which will fix other issues like hypertension and Type 2 diabetes. It's life-changing."

Franciscan Health also is gearing up to provide more joint replacement surgeries, which are expected to increase nationwide from about 1 million procedures this year to about 3.48 to 4 million by 2020, Franciscan Manager Center for Joint Surgery Brenda Toth said.

"I was a nurse in the city for a long time and am a product of Northwestern," Toth said. "I believe if it was anything important you should go to the city. But I've totally flipped my feeling about that, having seen the level of care we have in our backyard. We're giving care right here that equals the national levels."


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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.