A doctors office will be built along U.S. 31 in the next two years with the goal of meeting the need for more physicians in a growing area, helping redevelop a section of southern Greenwood and bringing more patients to Johnson Memorial Health services.
Johnson Memorial Health purchased a property on U.S. 31, south of Smith Valley Road, and plans to demolish the building that houses a mattress store and formerly had a thrift shop. The building at 1000 U.S. 31 South would be replaced with a 10,000- to 15,000-square-foot physicians office building with primary care, family and internal medicine doctors, chief executive officer Larry Heydon said.
Hospital officials began looking at the property when their physician office on Tracy Road in Whiteland no longer could take new doctors or patients. They wanted to give patients another place to go but also had a chance to have a new location north in the county, Heydon said.
“This takes us to our furthest north location and addresses the most populated location of the county,” Heydon said.
Johnson Memorial Health has doctors offices on the hospital campus in Franklin, in another location off U.S. 31 in Franklin, in Whiteland and at the recently built Stones Crossing Health Pavilion in the Center Grove area. In the future, officials want to look at the needs of southern Johnson County, though a location or what services would be offered have not been determined.
The health network employs 32 doctors and plans to add about nine more, including at least three at both the new Greenwood office and the Center Grove area location. Specialists also are being considered, Heydon said.
“Physicians are key. With the way health care is going, physicians will be asked to work closely with patients,” he said.
Doctors and health coaches, which the hospital has started hiring, will work with patients on preventive care, with the goal of avoiding more serious, long-term conditions, he said.
The new physicians office in Greenwood and a potential new location in southern Johnson County are both part of Johnson Memorial Health’s strategic plan. By recruiting more physicians, especially in family and internal medicine and pediatrics, the health group has more patients in its network, he said.
Johnson Memorial Health’s five-year plan calls for multiple capital projects at both the hospital campus in Franklin and at offices throughout the county. Another project will be to build a physicians office to replace the one in Whiteland.
But first, the Greenwood office would be built. Officials aren’t sure how much the new facility will cost and are working on designs, Heydon said. The property, which the health network purchased this month, was priced at $850,000, he said.
That location would be more than twice the size of the Whiteland offices, which has one full-time doctor and other practitioners. But the facility can’t take on new patients and has no room for new doctors, Heydon said.
“The demand was there, and we did not have the space nor the ability to add physicians,” he said.
The Greenwood location would have room for more physicians and lab services, which have been especially popular at the new Stones Crossing Health Pavilion, Heydon said.
What exactly the new office will offer, including the types of doctors, will depend on whom the hospital recruits, he said.
Johnson Memorial Health also will bring services that aren’t available nearby to a location that is growing, especially with a new interchange opening at Interstate 65 and Worthsville Road, Heydon said.
The property is also in an area that is being revitalized, including a new Horizon Bank branch and the Rural King that will be opening in the former Kmart location.
“We are glad to be a part of that,” he said.
The building has two spaces for stores currently. One, which previously housed a thrift shop, is empty. And the other has a mattress store. Heydon expects the store will likely stay in the building until the end of the year, he said.