Hancock Health responding to gist-area growth

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With projected population growth in the Geist area, Hancock County’s primary health provider is expanding its presence in McCordsville, including its Hancock Health Gateway center near I-70 and Mount Comfort Road near the Marion County border.

CEO Steve Long said the Gateway campus includes a medical center with low-cost diagnostic services and a variety of specialty services, including a laboratory. It also features a wellness center, which he described as “Gold’s Gym, a YMCA and a medical fitness center all in one.”

Long said the wellness center has more than 5,000 members.

“When you walk in the door, you’re thinking you’re going to a workout place,” he said. “But in addition to all the equipment and free weights and swimming pools and basketball courts and tracks and all that, we also have exercise specialists who have degrees in that expertise. We have rehab therapists, we have nutritionists. As a member, you have the opportunity to meet with our team and they create a special plan for you that achieves your goals for your health, and they are able to monitor you while you do so Are.

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The development of the Gateway complex began about five years ago, he said. It is located on a portion of 200 acres that Hancock Health purchased with the intention of partly developing it into a center and partly to encourage other development to complement the center.

“We recently completed a partnership with a new older complex called Randall Residences and it’s independent living, assisted living and memory care,” he said. “There is a Starbucks that we sold land to and that has been operating for the last few years. And then there’s a pediatric oral surgery office that was built right along the interstate.

The 60-acre parcel under development will offer apartments, restaurants, retail and hotels, he said.

Long said studies indicate that more and more people will be moving to the greater Indianapolis area over the next 25 years, and Hancock Health is planning with that in mind.

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“We’re actually planning a medical office building and a freestanding emergency room, because the population is growing rapidly on that side of the county,” he said of the McCordsville area. “And then long term, we have planning and selection of a site on our land for a second hospital in the county.”

The second hospital is dependent on population growth and probably won’t happen for another 15 years, he said, but it will be in the same area as the McCordsville Gateway campus.

In addition to its physical growth, Hancock Health has expanded its virtual access to medical expertise through its partnership with Mayo Clinic Care Network. Long said Hancock Health began this partnership about 18 months ago and has just renewed it for another term.

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“There are only 38 partners in North America, and basically you have to have some of the best quality scores for hospitals in the country,” he said. “You have to submit them about 1,000 pages of documentation about how your organization works.”

Mayo officials also conduct site visits before granting permission to a partner to join or renew, he said. As a partner, Hancock Health physicians can consult with Mayo’s experts to customize care or provide a second opinion.

“And then we have access to everything inside Mayo, including their knowledge database that they’ve been building for 150 years,” he said. “Every single one of us has access to that. So, put everything together, this is the ability for our experts to hire experts at Mayo Clinic.

Hancock Health also has a partnership with Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, she said, allowing the health network to provide neonatal nurse practitioners to its delivery units.

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