IU Health is in the middle of a $300 million “Fishers Community Impact” project, adding services at IU Health Saxony such as women’s health and obstetrics; neurology, pulmonary and ears, nose and throat care; new intensive care unit beds; and new outpatient clinics.
Chad Dilley is chief operating officer for IU Health Saxony. On a sunny September morning, as a huge crane moves massive construction materials for work crews on the site, he points to what will become the hospital’s new wing, which he refers to as the tower.
“What we’re looking at here on the first floor will be a women’s health focus area,” he said. “We will have an obstetrics and gynecology clinic, we’ll have breast surgical clinic, and we’ll have mammography on the first floor. And then on the second floor, right above that will be a labor, delivery, postpartum unit.”
Those services will be new to IU Health in Fishers, Dilley said. In addition to new services, the project will more than double the hospital’s inpatient capacity, from 38 to 88 beds.
The expansion project and new health services are a direct response to Fishers’ growth.
“This is such a growing and thriving area of the Midwest, seeing a lot of population influx, and we’re growing to meet that population demand,” Dilley said. “Our data strongly indicates that patients want care — IU Health care — closer to home. When you look at how patients are migrating away from the Fishers community to receive care that you can typically receive from a community hospital, it tells us we need to diversify our services here. And to do that we have to grow our physical footprint.”
The expansion project broke ground in November 2022 and is scheduled for completion in late 2025. Because of its size and the length of time it will take, Dilley said the planning process was meticulous, and was done with patients’ current needs in mind.
“We’ve really focused on minimizing disruption to our patients,” he said. “If you notice, where we’re standing, you’re not seeing any construction traffic. The construction entrance is actually just on the other side of our central utility plant there.”
The planning process directly involved caregivers, he said. Officials set up giant tents in one of the parking lots and invited IU Health employees to come out and talk with architects and construction partners to make sure the design fit their needs and the needs of patients.
There are interior renovations as well, he said, providing more imaging and emergency department capacity. A new pediatric emergency care department is planned in partnership with Riley Children’s Health, and IU Health opened a new primary care clinic on USA Parkway in Fishers this summer. Dilley said additional new services are planned in Noblesville and McCordsville.
A bigger hospital also means more utility needs, and that also was included in project planning.
“There’s significant infrastructure pieces. The central utility plant there, you have to add on additional capacity to be able to provide the utilities and be prepared to grow in the future as well,” Dilley said. “We built this with the growth of the community in mind. And then we’re positioned ourselves to continue to grow here based off of some of the infrastructure work we’re doing right now.”
Dilley said that while the $300 million investment is significant, it was needed.
“It’s a response to what the community has told us — that they want IU Health care closer to home,” he said. “And this is, again, such a growing and thriving area of the Midwest that we’re just trying to keep up with the demand.”
By the numbers
IU Health Saxony — soon to be IU Health Fishers’ expansion project will result in:
- 88 inpatient beds, including 64 for medical/surgical; 12 for ICU/progressive care; and 12 for labor/delivery/recovery/postpartum.
- Expanded emergency room capacity, with 15 exam and treatment spaces and two clinical decision units.
- Pediatric emergency medicine, with eight pediatric emergency rooms, a four-bed observation unit and staffing by Riley Children’s Health.
- 14 day beds and eight overnight beds for cath lab/observation
- Six operating rooms
- 17 post-op rooms
- Two CT scanners, two MRIs, three ultrasound machines, three X-ray machines and three mammogram machines.