By this time next year, residents in the Center Grove area will have an emergency room just minutes away from their homes.

They can easily get an X-ray or ultrasound, see specialists in sports medicine or breast care, and receive physical or occupational therapy. Physicians focused on family medicine will be right around the corner.

These services, and dozens more, will be part of the new Franciscan Health microhospital and medical facility that broke ground in White River Township on Thursday. In one of Johnson County’s fastest growing areas, Franciscan Health officials opted for a smaller, pared down hospital that could provide both emergency and everyday medical services.

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The new complex will move important medical services closer to existing and new patients, increasing Franciscan Health’s visibility on the southside, said Dr. James Callaghan, president and CEO of Franciscan Health.

“For us, it’s an important service expansion in our primary service area. We wanted to expand services and increase that access and convenience factor for patients in that area,” he said. “It’s going to be a comprehensive solution for patients in that area without having to drive the 12 miles up to our main hospital campus in Indianapolis.”

The 108,000-square-foot complex will be located at 1703 Stones Crossing Road, just east of State Road 135. Franciscan Health Stones Crossing will cost $50 million, and construction is expected to be done in the first half of 2018.

The Stones Crossing location was chosen because it was a rapidly developing area of central Indiana where Franciscan Health did not have a presence, Callaghan said.

“We really wanted to serve that area of Johnson County in a more complete way. We have a lot of patients from that area right now, but they generally have to head further north for their services,” he said. “We wanted to deliver both a medical office building with physician offices, as well as a smaller hospital capability for greater convenience for the patients.”

The centerpiece of the facility will be the microhospital and emergency department, which will feature 12 exam rooms, imaging services for ultrasounds and CT scans, as well as a clinical lab to run blood, urine and other tests.

Eight inpatient rooms will be there for patients who need to be admitted for longer periods of time. Patients can receive a wide variety of treatments at the microhospital, but if they need more complex care, they can be stabilized then transported to either Franciscan Health’s main campus on the southside of Indianapolis or its hospital in Mooresville.

“For patients who are more significantly ill, we can link them easily to our main hospital campus for care,” Callaghan said. “Sometimes, a patient’s illness or condition will require treatment that’s beyond the scope of that facility. In that case, we’re a short trip to our main campus. This is not a situation where we have a hospital 30 miles away, and it becomes more difficult to transport patients.”

Microhospitals are a concept that have taken root in the U.S. over the past three years. The facilities are fully licensed and function like scaled-down versions of traditional hospitals. The microhospital trend has been centered in Texas, Arizona and Colorado, but as the model has worked, the facilities have migrated to other areas of the country, including to Indiana.

The three-story complex will also feature medical offices in services ranging from orthopedics and dermatology to internal medicine and pediatrics. Obstetrician and gynecologist physician offices will be included, as will rehabilitation services and a vein center.

“We looked at each specialty and determined if there’s a capacity issue, or if the demand is outstripping the supply. With those specialties, there is significant demand for them, and part of that demand is coming from that Stones Crossing area,” Callaghan said.

Some of the more unique aspects of the complex will be a medical spa, where patients can receive massage therapy and body sculpting. A cafe and conference center for community events and meetings will also be included.

Crews already have started working at the site, preparing for the start of construction. For hospital officials, it’s encouraging to see the project finally get underway after years of analyzing, Callaghan said.

“When you’ve been planning for something like this, it’s great to see the first steps come to fruition. So, we’ll be pleased to get it started and to see the work go on,” Callaghan said.

At a glance

Franciscan Health Stones Crossing

What: A new microhospital, emergency department and outpatient medical complex.

Where: 1703 W. Stones Crossing Road, Greenwood

Size: 108,000 square feet

Cost: Estimated $50 million

Construction schedule: Work is beginning, with plans to be done in the first half of 2018.

Features

  • An emergency center with 12 exam rooms, full imaging services and lab support.
  • Eight inpatient beds for patients who need to be admitted for longer stays and more intensive treatment
  • A diagnostic imaging center for MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds and X-rays
  • Rehabilitation services for physical, occupational and speech therapies
  • Clinical lab services
  • Specialty clinic offering orthopedics, orthopedic sports medicine, breast care specialists and dermatology
  • Family medicine and internal medicine physician offices
  • A pediatrics clinic
  • OB/GYN physician offices
  • A medical spa with massage therapy, body sculpting and hydrafacial services
  • A vein center
  • Mammography
  • Bone density testing
  • Café
  • Conference center for community events and meetings
Author photo
Ryan Trares is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at rtrares@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2727.