Lutheran Health Network expanded its presence north of Fort Wayne on Tuesday by breaking ground on a multiuse medical facility near competitors Parkview Health and IU Health.
At 12404 Lima Road, Huntertown, the facility – projected to open next summer – will include offices for primary-care doctors plus a walk-in urgent care center, diagnostic imaging and a lab.
The new Lutheran facility joins Maple Heights Behavioral Health, a joint venture with Acadia Healthcare, at West Washington Center and Huguenard roads. Ground was broken in August on the 120-bed mental health and substance abuse facility.
A Lutheran-affiliated outpatient medical facility in Auburn will have a ribbon cutting next week, officials said.
Parkview Health has physicians' offices nearby and IU Health has opened an urgent care center just south of Dupont and Lima roads.
Scott Teffeteller, named Lutheran Health Network's chief executive officer in July, conducted the groundbreaking.
“The reason for this site is to be closer to the community we serve to the north of Fort Wayne,” he said.
Lutheran's main hospital is in southwest Fort Wayne. A $220 million, 60-bed downtown hospital to replace St. Joseph Hospital is under construction on the southwest corner of Main and Van Buren streets.
The new facility is designed to complement the network's extensive Dupont Hospital campus along Auburn and Dupont roads, Teffeteller said.
Lutheran officials said the facility will have 35 to 40 staff members, with roughly half new hires. Some physicians will practice exclusively at the site, while others, typically specialists, will rotate in and out as needed.
Some employees will be relocated from Dupont Hospital.
Teffeteller declined to provide the cost, saying only the facility is a “multimillion-dollar” project that will be one story and have 22,000 square feet under roof.
MKM architecture + design, Fort Wayne, is the architect. The general contractor is FCI Construction, Auburn, formerly Fetters Construction.
Republican Brandon Seifert, a member of Huntertown's Town Council and redevelopment commission, said officials there are “very happy” about the project.
He was one of several Huntertown officials who attended Tuesday's groundbreaking.
“Huntertown is open for business and this will help us solidify this,” he said, adding that numerous new housing developments in the area “will build demand for health services close to home.”
The town and nearby Perry, Washington and Eel River townships have been developing large housing developments for some time.
In recent months, more than 600 lots have been proposed.
Teffeteller said the influx had not gone unnoticed.
“Our purpose is to build enduring relationships,” he said. “We don't want to be a business that comes and goes.
“We recognize the potential for this market.”