Ascension St. Vincent said Friday morning it plans to build a small hospital near Purdue University with an emergency room and eight inpatient beds.
The Indianapolis-based health system said the new hospital will bring inpatient and emergency care into the city of West Lafayette for the first time. The city is home to urgent care centers and medical clinics, but the nearest acute-care hospital, Indiana University Health Arnett, is about three miles away, in Lafayette.
“Our expansion in West Lafayette comes at a time when access to convenient health care options is more important than ever,” Jonathan Nalli, chief executive of Ascension St. Vincent Indiana, said in written remarks. “We are responding to the community’s need to access high-quality care in a way that fits into everyday life.”
The hospital will be constructed on the northeast corner of Airport Road and Highway 231 in the Discovery Park District, a mixed-use area known for its Purdue-affiliated business startups, on the eastern edge of the campus on seven acres of land that Ascension St. Vincent bought from the university.
Purdue University President Mitch Daniels said the addition of a medical facility is an important piece of the growing Discovery Park District.
“When we first envisioned this new live, work, play district, access to health facilities was among the priorities,” Daniels said in written comments. “Ascension St. Vincent has stepped up to provide this much-needed new option for residents of our entire region.”
The emergency department will contain eight examination rooms. Other features will include a laboratory and CT and other imaging services.
Ascension St. Vincent did not provide specifications on the hospital’s size, but calls it a “neighborhood hospital.” The system has built eight other neighborhood hospitals in central Indiana, and each is about 17,000 square feet, or less than one-tenth the size of a traditional acute-care hospital.
Neighborhood hospitals bridge a gap by offering convenient care and serving as a middle ground between larger hospitals and urgent care centers, Ascension St. Vincent said in a statement.
The West Lafayette hospital is “the first development of what will become a larger medical complex on the Purdue University campus that will focus primarily on outpatient care,” it added.
Purdue said the small hospital will bring “more options and additional competition to the health care market in the region.”
Ascension St. Vincent said it will assume possession of the site in late spring. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer.
West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said the city has been working toward bringing expanded medical services to the area for several years to serve the area’s growing permanent-resident and student population.
“We’re excited to welcome Ascension micro-hospital to the Discovery Park District at Purdue University and the City of West Lafayette,” Dennis said in written remarks.
This project follows the announced expansion of the Ascension St. Vincent 86th Street campus in Indianapolis. The project includes a dedicated brain and spine hospital and the relocation of Ascension St. Vincent Women’s Hospital, with the addition of 109 private neonatal intensive care unit rooms and a parking garage.