Beacon breaks ground on new Memorial Hospital patient tower


SOUTH BEND – Beacon Health System leaders today broke ground on the new 10-story patient care tower on the campus of Memorial Hospital of South Bend. This transformational, once-in-a-generation project is designed to enrich the patient, family and visitor experience while meeting the growing healthcare needs of residents in our area for decades to come.

Memorial Hospital President Larry Tracy addresses those attending the tower project groundbreaking.

“We are raising the bar for inpatient care in our region and investing in our community with this historic initiative,” said Larry Tracy, President of Memorial Hospital. “But this is more than brick and mortar; we are planning for the future of healthcare with this commitment to our patients and our clinical teams.”

The $232 million tower project – the largest construction project in Memorial Hospital’s 129-year history, will comprise 300,000 square feet and expand the number of adult acute care beds from 249 to 302. Included in the new tower will be an expanded Intensive Care Unit, new and enhanced technologies across the facility and larger patient rooms with comfortable, dedicated space for family and visitors.

Construction crews have been working on major enabling projects for nearly a year inside Memorial Hospital to create space for the new tower. The entire project is targeted for completion in late 2025 and occupancy of the new patient tower is anticipated in early 2026.

Beacon Health System initiated a master facility plan process in June 2019 to evaluate its inpatient bed tower. Physicians, clinicians and hospital staff helped define many of the details. The result is a project that will redefine and, in some cases, expand the space and facilities Memorial Hospital has available for adult acute care and adult critical care in the heart of downtown South Bend.

Designed by CannonDesign and constructed by Walsh Construction, the new patient tower is expected to create an estimated 500 new jobs in the community upon completion. To learn much more about the new patient tower, visit

“Memorial and Beacon are not only laying a new foundation, are not only breaking ground on a new patient tower, they are publicly re-dedicating themselves to their mission of serving the health needs of our community with the highest quality of compassionate patient care,” said Thomas Burish, PhD, Chair of the Beacon Health System Board of Directors.


Beacon Health System is the largest, locally owned and operated non-profit health care system in the region. Beacon is our community’s trusted partner in creating health and the majority provider of services to the underinsured and underserved. Beacon Children’s Hospital, Beacon Granger Hospital, Community Hospital of Bremen, Elkhart General Hospital, Epworth Hospital, Franciscan Beacon Hospital, Memorial Hospital of South Bend, Three Rivers Health, Beacon Medical Group, Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program, Beacon Health Foundation and Beacon Health & Fitness are powered by nearly 8,000 associates and over 1,000 physicians and providers.

Larry Tracy

“This overall project is a major campus redevelopment. As we approached this project, we knew it was going to be complex. And we knew that we were going to need to cultivate phenomenal partnerships to make sure that this would be a great place to receive care for the next generation. I’d like to thank our physicians and associates, as they had the fortitude to envision what the future of inpatient care looks like while dealing with an unprecedented pandemic. I’d like to thank the CannonDesign team, as they have come through time and time again. Without them, none of this would have been possible. Also, I’d like to thank Walsh Construction for being an invaluable partner as our management firm. Lastly, I’d like to thank our governance within Beacon Health System: the Memorial Hospital board of directors, the Beacon Finance committee, and the Beacon Health System Board of Directors. This has taken vision and courage to foresee what the future of healthcare looks like here in South Bend.”

Larry Tracy - President, Memorial Hospital

“This historic reinvestment into Memorial Hospital shows the commitment of Beacon to be here in South Bend, continuing to build on the high-quality care that they provide and making sure that we can provide the care that is needed for our residents in the future. I, personally, was born in this hospital, and I also received lifesaving care here this past summer. Many other South Bend residents like myself have received lifesaving care here at Memorial, and now we know that this will go on long into the future. Beacon is very personal to me and very personal to many residents in South Bend. Beacon has been a great partner for South Bend, and we know what this reinvestment means. We are grateful to see this day and this project coming to fruition after many years of planning. We are really excited and really appreciate everyone who came together to make this possible.”

James Mueller, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana
Michelle Thompson

“As a third-generation Memorial physician, my family has seen many changes to campus over the years. I’m excited about the tower’s planning because it has involved all levels of healthcare teams, including physicians, nurses, patient care assistants, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmacists, social workers, environmental services, and our entire healthcare team. Many things will improve our ability to provide care, but I want to focus on three: bigger rooms, better technology and outdoor spaces. Bigger rooms will allow families to be more present with the patient and provide more family-centered care. Also, all healthcare providers will have adequate room to provide that care. Second, new technology will improve call light systems to help assist patients more quickly, while interactive white boards will provide better information to both patients and families. Lastly, this tower will provide outdoor spaces for families and patients, as well as providing a space for staff to get an invaluable breath of fresh air. We are thrilled this modernized facility will match the exceptional care currently provided at Memorial.”

Michelle Thompson, MD, Hospitalist Medical Director, Memorial Hospital

“Hospitals like Memorial are never allowed finishing touches. Today we are breaking ground for the new patient tower. We are laying a foundation for the future of Memorial and this community. That we would lay this future was never a certainty. When the Beacon Board of Directors was presented with this as a proposal, it went through three stages. The first was a project of this complexity and size simply can’t be done. The second was a project of this complexity and size will cost too much. The third was we knew all along that this was a great idea. And was it ever. This project is the largest single investment in the history of Memorial or Beacon, estimated at more than $230 million. It will help address the acute and chronic needs of our immediate community but also the more than 22 counties whose patients and citizens Memorial serves.”

Thomas Burish, PhD, Chairman, Beacon Health System Board of Directors
Koscielski Matthew

“I am excited for the South Bend community to benefit from this patient tower. Its completion will increase the capacity of the critical care unit by doubling the amount of beds and increase the number of general medical beds by 53. There will be a cutting-edge medical facility that includes modern technology and computerized tools for patient care and safety that will make it easier for the staff and clinicians to care for these patients. The new tower will provide care for the most complex, the most critically injured and the most critically ill patients in the community. It will continue to be the home of the only Level II Trauma Center in Northern Indiana. It will also be the home of advanced cardiovascular services for many patients with cardiovascular diseases as well as many other service lines for patients of all ages. With increasing demand for these types of patients, this facility will allow those patients and families to stay here and receive their care locally in South Bend.”

Matthew Koscielski, MD, ICU and Pulmonary Services Medical Director, Memorial Hospital