Northwest Health – La Porte Replacement Hospital

  • area / size 200,000 sqft
  • Completed 2020
  • Type Hospital,
  • Gresham Smith was trusted with the design of Northwest Health’s La Porte Replacement Hospital located in La Porte, Indiana.

    Located just off the shores of Lake Michigan in northwest Indiana, La Porte Hospital has been the heart of healthcare in downtown La Porte for more than 40 years. After being acquired by Community Health Systems (CHS), the hospital became part of the larger regional Northwest Health network and received funding for a new hospital. Located one block from the older La Porte Hospital, the new 200,000-square-foot, 84-bed Gresham Smith-designed acute care hospital replaces the community’s aging facility and aligns stylistically with other facilities within the CHS network. In addition to inpatient services, the new hospital also houses emergency services, outpatient surgery, cardiovascular services in a heart center setting, critical care, orthopedic services, and birthing & family care services, prioritizing the patient experience, staff satisfaction and overall delivery of care.

    The four-floor facility’s clean, modern façade represents the quality care provided inside and sets a new design standard for the health system’s future projects. A glazed two-story lobby helps distinguish public access to the building and is visible from the main approach to the site. Large windows stacked in the corner of the elevator lobbies and waiting rooms maximize views of the surrounding area and orient visitors back toward the City. Additionally, high-performance, low-emittance glass improves energy efficiency without compromising the amount of ambient light.

    Inside the 200,000-square foot facility’s two-story lobby, visitors are guided to their destination via large scale graphics and visual cues. The design team relocated decorative stained glass panels from the existing facility for an accent wall behind the monumental stair, which leads to a shared waiting room on the second floor and registration areas are designed to maximize patient privacy. Large expanses of windows offer ample daylight and views for patients and their family members.

    To support patient healing and family involvement, 84 private inpatient rooms include a private bathroom, flat screen TV, room-by-room temperature control and a recliner, as well as electronic information boards that display patients’ medical information and care plans. Visitors also have two on-site dining options: the Garden Café on the first floor, and The Gathering Café& Bakery on the second floor.

    To improve care efficiencies, each floor has multiple nurse stations, as well as separate observation stations outside patient rooms in the intensive care unit. The space also features separate circulation for staff, dedicated elevators for materials, equipment and food service, and a dedicated elevator for patient transport to surgery, the ICU, labor and delivery, and the rooftop helipad. This means patients are closer to their caregivers, and caregivers are closer to the supplies, equipment and resources needed to expedite care.

    Tablets and workstations on wheels create environmental efficiencies, while dense wireless coverage allow for a more mobile, flexible care model as telehealth services become more popular. Wireless mobile communication devices improve communication between caregivers and increase flow efficiencies for advanced patient care.

    Design: Gresham Smith
    Contractor: Robins & Morton
    Photography: Chad Baumer