Mayor Thomas M. McDermott Jr.

Franciscan Health Hammond Closing

CATEGORY: Mayor's Office, News

For nearly a year the City of Hammond has been enduring the proposition of their only hospital being substantially closed when Franciscan Health announced that St. Margaret’s, which has been a mainstay of health services in the city for over 100 years was eliminating most services and demolishing the majority of the healthcare campus. Now, after assuring the city and mayor last year that certain important services would remain open, Franciscan has announced that it is completely shutting down operations in Hammond by the end of the year including the Emergency Room, which will leave critical services unavailable for many residents.

“This announcement has left Lake County’s largest city without a hospital for its 80,000 residents and it underscores the problem in America—an America that now has two healthcare systems—one if you are wealthy and one if you are not,” said Mayor Tom McDermott. “Franciscan Health’s corporate trustees have made the decision to divest in the city and its residents,” said the mayor. “The fact is that Franciscan has abandoned Hammond over the last decade by making procedures and services unavailable at St. Margaret’s. Any excuse that people are deciding with their feet to go elsewhere or to give statistics about how few patients use Hammond’s facility is a red herring—this healthcare corporation chose to divest in Hammond. This decision directly contradicts their ministry and mission to provide assistance to the poor and most vulnerable—this is not a compassionate decision,” the mayor said.

The city will now be one of the largest cities in Indiana without a hospital. “As mayor I have a responsibility to protect our residents. This corporate decision will place at risk anyone who needs immediate and emergency services that could result in a life or death situation,” said Mayor McDermott.
Franciscan announced that in patient services would close within a week and the Emergency Room would close by year’s end. The Emergency Room is a main transport drop off for the Hammond Fire Department ambulances.

“I promise that I will continue to do everything in my power to seek out an alternative healthcare providers that are committed to the city and its residents and to make sure Hammond’s healthcare needs are met,” said Mayor McDermott.