Beacon embarks on patient-centered project that will redefine care at Memorial Hospital

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Renewing its commitment to serve the City of South Bend and surrounding communities for generations to come, Memorial Hospital is launching one of the most transformative construction projects in its 129-year history.

The new 10-story patient bed tower project will comprise seven new patient care floors, a renovation and expansion of the Intensive Care Unit and the redesign and renovation of other areas and departments across the downtown hospital campus. More than 50 patient beds will be added and an estimated 500 new jobs created when the project is completed in March 2026.

The estimated $232 million investment will not only transform and reshape how Memorial Hospital provides patient care, but also redefine the skyline in downtown South Bend.

“This is a transformational, once-in-a-generation project that will serve the growing health care needs of patients in our region for decades to come,” said Larry Tracy, President, Memorial Hospital. “Understanding how we play a critical role in serving the health needs of our community, we have spent thousands of hours examining how we will provide clinical care and improve our patient, family and staff experience in this facility.”

Beacon Health System initiated a master facility plan process in June 2019 to evaluate its inpatient bed tower. The result is a plan that will redefine and in some cases expand the space and facilities Memorial Hospital has available for adult critical care, adult acute care, emergency and trauma care, ICU, diagnostic imaging and outpatient surgery.

Hundreds of associates have been working alongside hospital leaders, imagining and designing the patient-centered tower that is designed to improve the patient, provider and family experience. The project will transform or touch almost every part of the hospital. Patient rooms will be larger, quieter and will have their own temperature controls, and they will be equipped with telemetry, remote monitored alarms and mobility lifts. Every room will also feature new dedicated family and visitor spaces.

The patient tower’s expanded capacity and technologically advanced features will help meet the growing health care needs of our community and allow patients to remain close to home for high acuity care. Memorial Hospital offers the only Level II Trauma center within 90 miles, the only Children’s Hospital and Pediatric ICU in the region and the only air-medical transport in the region.

The pandemic has provided Beacon Health System with new learnings that have helped us shape tower space design. Beyond the patient room improvements, the tower will feature improved ventilation, floors with negative pressure rooms, new way-finding for ease of access for patients and families and more natural light and outdoor spaces for patients, visitors and staff. A new central elevator bank will provide access to nearly all levels of the hospital from the main lobby.

Including construction, increased economic activity and projected local employment gains, the project will have a more than $400 million economic impact on the community, according to an analysis conducted by the South Bend Regional Chamber.

“This facility will complement our caregivers and help them do their best work. We gathered information and input from our associates, physicians and patients to learn what works well and what needs to change,” Tracy said. “This is much more than bricks and mortar. This is about transforming lives.”

We’re thrilled to see the plans advance for a new patient tower at Beacon Health System’s Memorial Hospital Campus. This will be one of the largest investments in our community in decades and enhances our position as one of the top areas for healthcare in the region and state. While the amount of new investment and the new jobs that will be created will garner most of the attention, the real winners in the project are patients and families that will benefit from the enhanced delivery of services the hospital will offer once complete. Quality healthcare is a key driver to economic growth and a critical factor in our efforts to attract new people and businesses to our area. This investment also represents the strong belief the Beacon team has in our region and its current trajectory as they are betting big on the future and positioning themselves to meet the changing healthcare needs of our citizens.

JEFF REA, CCE, President & CEO South Bend Regional Chamber

We are grateful and proud that our region’s largest healthcare provider, Beacon Health System, is choosing to reinvest in the heart of South Bend. The new Memorial Hospital Patient Tower will further anchor our downtown as a center of employment and healthcare services. In addition to raising the standard of care, this transformative investment will create hundreds of jobs and attract new residents and visitors to our downtown. I look forward to this future growth of Memorial and South Bend.

James Mueller, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana

This new and renewed Beacon Memorial Hospital patient tower complex is transformational to the city’s skyline and, more importantly, in the delivery of healthcare services, not only for the city of South Bend and its adjacent communities, but also the extended region around South Bend. The emergency, trauma, neonatal and other specialty practice services provided will extend to families and communities, impacting lives in a way that is greater than can be provided today and by any other healthcare facility within 90 miles of downtown South Bend.

In addition to the growth in healthcare benefits, the construction project itself will generate over $100 million of community-based revenue annually with jobs and related services during construction. Then, once the project is completed, hundreds of millions of new dollars to the community will be generated annually in local income. In my 27 years of being back in South Bend, I have not seen a single project with such great multi-dimensional impact to this region.

Brad Toothaker, Memorial Hospital, Board Chair
Bradley Company, CEO
Great Lakes Capital, Managing Partner