Hammond Hospital to Move Forward With Closing Emergency Room Saturday

The Indiana Court of Appeals has granted an emergency motion, overturning a lower court's ruling and allowing Franciscan Health Hammond to move forward with closing its emergency room Saturday as planned.

In a statement, Franciscan Alliance, which operates the hospital, said it doesn't expect that the emergency room's closure will cause a disruption in care for resident, because most ambulances have stopped bringing patients to the hospital.

"As we pointed out to the Court of Appeals, many Hammond neighborhoods are closer to other hospitals within the region than they were to Franciscan Health Hammond," Barbara Anderson, interim president and CEO of Franciscan Health Hammond, Dyer and Munster said in a statement, in part. “We believe this decision prioritizes patient safety, which has been our primary concern throughout the legal proceedings.” 

Earlier in December, a Lake County judge ordered the hospital to keep its emergency room open for another months. The city’s of Hammond's legal team successfully argued that Franciscan Alliance, a Mishawaka-based hospital chain, broke its May 2021 promise to provide 24/7 medical services while downsizing the hospital.

Hammond’s attorneys had sought an 18-month reprieve, but Mayor Tom McDermott said he was moving ahead with plans to find another emergency medical provider for the space. He said those services are key to Hammond’s downtown renewal plans, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

The Indiana Court of Appeals ruling overturned the lower court's decision.

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