Community Health Network to close Guion Road hospital

Community Health Network announced Friday morning that it has decided to close Community Hospital Westview on Guion Road at the end of the year, a move that raises questions about the jobs of hospital employees and the care offered to the west-side neighborhood.

The hospital system said it made the decision "after thorough evaluation of its care delivery models" in Indiana. Community Health Network said it has begun working with employees and hopes to find them "other opportunities." Community operates five other hospitals in central Indiana, as well as numerous clinics and physicians' offices.

Community Westview stopped operating as a full-service inpatient hospital in 2015, and for more than a year its services have been limited to emergency care, some surgeries and imaging.

The hospital, which opened in 1975, had about 60,000 outpatient "encounters" over the past year, an average of about 160 per day, Community said. It has about 145 full- and part-time employees.

"Our human resources team is working with that group to identify opportunities for as many of them as possible within other Community Health Network sites," Community spokesman Al Larsen said in an email to IBJ. "With more than 14,000 employees at the Network, we have several hundred job openings at any given time, including now."

Community took over the then-67-bed Westview Hospital in June 2011, along with its HealthPlex fitness center and 180-member physician network. IBJ reported the hospital was operating at less than 40 percent occupany in 2013.

Community Health said it plans to wind down operations at the Guion Road campus and seek a partner to take over the nearby fitness center.

"After a thorough evaluation of its care delivery models across its six central Indiana regions, Community Health Network has determined it can best serve the west side of Indianapolis through an ambulatory, or outpatient, model of care," the organization said.

Jason Fahrlander, president of acute care services for Community Health Network, said the organization "remains committed to serving" the west side, and has determined the best way to do so is through ambulatory services—a term that refers to care that doesn't involve overnight stays, such as urgent care centers and physicians' clinics.

"Our West region (where Westview is based) includes 21 primary care providers, Surgery Center Northwest (on Township Line Road) and a health pavilion in Speedway that includes a MedCheck, physician offices for adults and children, a walk-in imaging center and occupational health," Larsen said.

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