Hancock Health responding to Geist-area growth

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

Steve Long
Steve Long

CEO Steve Long said the Gateway campus includes a medical center with various specialty services, including lower-cost diagnostic services and a lab. It also has a wellness center, which he described as a “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 walking into a workout place,” he said. “But in addition to all of the equipment and the free weights and the swimming pools and the basketball courts and the track and all that, we also have exercise specialists that have degrees in that specialty. We have rehab therapists, we have nutritionists. As a member, you have the opportunity to meet with our team and they create a specialized plan just for you that achieves the goals that you have for your health, and they are able to watch over you as you do it.”

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

“We just completed a partnership with a new aging-in-place campus called Randall Residence and it’s independent living, assisted living and memory care,” he said. “There is a Starbucks that we sold land to that’s been operating for a couple of years now. And then there’s a pediatric oral surgery office that has been built right along the interstate.”

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

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

“We actually are planning for a medical office building and a freestanding emergency room, because the population is booming on that side of the county,” he said of the McCordsville area. “And then long term, we do have plans and a site selected on our own land for a second hospital in the county.”

The second hospital is dependent on population growth and likely wouldn’t be for another 15 years or so, he said, but it would go 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 the Mayo Clinic Care Network. Long said that Hancock Health started that partnership about 18 months ago and just renewed for another term.

“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 need to submit to them about 1,000 pages of documentation about how your organization works.”

Officials from Mayo also do a site visit before allowing a partner to join or renew, he said. As a partner, Hancock Health physicians can consult with experts from Mayo to optimize care, or to provide a second opinion.

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

Hancock Health also has a partnership with the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, he added, allowing the health network to provide neonatal nurse practitioners in its delivery unit.

For more, visit hancockhealth.org.

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