Franciscan Well being Hammond emergency room to close down Saturday

The emergency room for Franciscan Well being Hammond will see its final sufferers noon Saturday following a last-second keep issued by the Indiana Courtroom of Appeals.

The keep, issued Friday afternoon by Chief Choose Cale Bradford, halts a Lake County choose’s ruling that may have postponed the closure of Franciscan Well being Hammond’s emergency room for 9 months whereas the town of Hammond searched for one more operator.

In consequence, ambulances will likely be diverted beginning at midnight Saturday and the hospital’s ER is about to shut to walk-ins at midday Saturday, in response to Franciscan officers.

Following Lake County Superior Courtroom Civil Division Choose Bruce Guardian’s Dec. 22 choice, the Franciscan Alliance filed an emergency movement Wednesday to attraction the Guardian’s ruling, which the appellate court docket granted Friday afternoon.

“The Franciscan Alliance is grateful for the Courtroom of Appeals order,” Franciscan Well being Hammond Interim President and CEO Barbara Anderson mentioned in a information launch Friday. “As such, Franciscan will proceed with leasing operations and shutting the emergency division as of Dec. 31, 2022.”

The choice to shut the Franciscan Well being Hammond emergency room on the finish of the 12 months was introduced abruptly Nov. 23, leaving many Hammond metropolis officers and residents blindsided.

Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott referred to as the choice an “indictment on the American well being care system,” leaving a weakened well being care system for the poor. “They’re abandoning their mission to assist the poor and so they’re shifting the place the wealthy persons are,” he mentioned.

McDermott mentioned there was no worthwhile authorized recourse for the town to pursue following the attraction.

“They will tear all the things out of there, and I would not be shocked in the event that they threw a grenade in there on their manner out,” he mentioned.

In November, Anderson mentioned the hospital’s closure was a results of staffing shortages and dwindling affected person numbers.

Through the Dec. 21 listening to to increase Franciscan Well being Hammond’s emergency room, Franciscan’s authorized counsel argued that even when ordered to take action, the emergency room wouldn’t be capable of perform following the Dec. 31 deadlines.

“As most ambulances have already stopped bringing sufferers to Franciscan Well being Hammond, we don’t anticipate that closing the Emergency Division will trigger disruption in emergency medical look after residents,” Anderson mentioned.

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