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St. Francis Hospital project targets Greenwood's growth

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It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is going to build an emergency room and medical office complex near Greenwood: The area has been growing 10 times faster than the city of Indianapolis over the past decade.

OTB healthcare St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is the city’s fourth-largest hospital system. (IBJ File Photo)

The $20 million facility, for which St. Francis disclosed its plans in late November, would attempt to capture some of the 32-percent growth in population Greenwood experienced from 2000 to 2009, according to Census Bureau estimates.

“That’s a fast-growing area,” said St. Francis spokesman Joe Stuteville, adding, “We just felt there was a particular need for ER services.”

The free-standing ER, which is projected to open in September 2012, would be the third such facility in the Indianapolis area. St. Vincent Health opened a free-standing ER in Fishers in 2008. And Witham Health Services opened one outside Zionsville in 2009.

Karlsberger, a health care architectural firm in Columbus, Ohio, describes the free-standing ER as a key hospital strategy to increase market share in lucrative suburban communities while establishing a presence in locations that are likely to need a full-service hospital.

For 10 years, St. Francis has owned the 50-acre site where the new ER will be built, along State Road 37 at Fairview Road. It was planning to build a facility there a couple of years ago, but the recession and Wall Street meltdown forced it to wait until more favorable financial times.

The new facility is roughly a 10-mile drive from either St. Francis Hospital in Mooresville or St. Francis Hospital in Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis campus is undergoing an expansion of its emergency room in a project that will be completed by May 2012. St. Francis will be ending emergency and inpatient services at its oldest hospital in Beech Grove once the expansion at the Indianapolis campus is complete.

But in spite of the proximity of St. Francis’ existing hospitals, Greenwood’s growth—roughly equal to what Carmel and Noblesville have experienced this decade—convinced St. Francis that there is an unmet need. Also, larger rivals Clarian Health and Community Health Network have either expanded or explored expanding facilities in Indianapolis’ southern suburbs, posing a threat to St. Francis’ dominance of the region.

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  1. Why not take some time to do some research before traveling to that Indiana town or city, and find the ones that are no smoking either inside, or have a patio? People like yourself are just being selfish, and unnecessarily trying to take away all indoor venues that smokers can enjoy themselves at. Last time I checked, it is still a free country, and businesses do respond to market pressure and will ban smoking, if there's enough demand by customers for it(i.e. Linebacker Lounge in South Bend, and Rack and Helen's in New Haven, IN, outside of Fort Wayne). Indiana law already unnecessarily forced restaurants with a bar area to be no smoking, so why not support those restaurants that were forced to ban smoking against their will? Also, I'm always surprised at the number of bars that chose to ban smoking on their own, in non-ban parts of Indiana I'll sometimes travel into. Whiting, IN(just southeast of Chicago) has at least a few bars that went no smoking on their own accord, and despite no selfish government ban forcing those bars to make that move against their will! I'd much rather have a balance of both smoking and non-smoking bars, rather than a complete bar smoking ban that'll only force more bars to close their doors. And besides IMO, there are much worser things to worry about, than cigarette smoke inside a bar. If you feel a bar is too smoky, then simply walk out and take your business to a different bar!

  2. As other states are realizing the harm in jailing offenders of marijuana...Indiana steps backwards into the script of Reefer Madness. Well...you guys voted for your Gov...up to you to vote him out. Signed, Citizen of Florida...the next state to have medical marijuana.

  3. It's empowering for this niche community to know that they have an advocate on their side in case things go awry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrst9VXVKfE

  4. Apparently the settlement over Angie's List "bundling" charges hasn't stopped the practice! My membership is up for renewal, and I'm on my third email trying to get a "basic" membership rather than the "bundled" version they're trying to charge me for. Frustrating!!

  5. Well....as a vendor to both of these builders I guess I have the right to comment. Davis closed his doors with integrity.He paid me every penny he owed me. Estridge,STILL owes me thousands and thousands of dollars. The last few years of my life have been spent working 2 jobs, paying off the suppliers I used to work on Estridge jobs and just struggling to survive. Shame on you Paul...and shame on you IBJ! Maybe you should have contacted the hundreds of vendors that Paul stiffed. I'm sure your "rises from the ashes" spin on reporting would have contained true stories of real people who have struggled to find work and pay of their debts (something that Paul didn't even attempt to do).

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