Community and political leaders turned a shovel to mark the new HealthLinc facility that will be built at 200 Alfred Avenue as well as a collaboration with Ivy Tech Community College.
“We look to improve the health of our most vulnerable residents,” said Beth Wrobel, HealthLinc CEO. “We are investing more than $15 million into a new state-of-the-art clinic that will respond to the increase in need and ensure health equity is available.”
“This grassroots construction project will firmly plant HealthLinc’s roots as a permanent provider of quality affordable health care to the people of Michigan City,” said Michigan City Mayor Duane Parry.
The new 39,000-square-foot building will include 33 medical exam rooms, two procedure rooms, 12 dental rooms, and a community center. Services offered at the new clinic will include: medical, dental, behavioral health, optometry, chiropractic, obstetrics and pharmaceutical. The facility will be located behind Ivy Tech Community College and is on a bus route.
“To see so many stakeholders in one room saying connectivity is important, and the collective impact of all of these agencies makes a difference,” said Congressman Frank Mrvan. “The most vulnerable don’t always have access to a car and have a day of planning on a bus to get to a location. To be able to centralize services and health care is a great thing. Federally qualified health centers are important, and I will carry the power of this story to the nation’s capital.”
The facility’s location next to Ivy Tech will allow for health care students to have hands-on experience in their fields.
“This ‘learning lab’ will benefit our community members. The pandemic proved that there are not enough health care workers and people are retiring at a quick rate,” Wrobel said. “This opportunity with Ivy Tech will teach future health care workers and demonstrate what it really looks like to provide affordable and comprehensive health care.”
“This is a brick-and-mortar milestone for HealthLinc, and it confirms their mission. It is an honor that leaders were able to envision the location to be right here next to Ivy Tech,” said Aco Sikoski, chancellor at Ivy Tech Community College.
The clinic is expected to open in the first quarter of 2024 and the team will continue to emphasize preventive services and patient education. Beyond the medical offerings, the new facility will provide addiction services, a medical-legal partnership, health insurance enrollment assistance and a community outreach team.
“The city is growing, and economic development has many parts to make it work, such as transportation, education and health care,” said Clarence Hulse, Executive Director of Michigan City Economic Development Corporation. “This project has a real place in my heart. This ensures that our residents can stay healthy. When we grow communities, we need to make sure access to health care is readily available. We are looking forward to seeing exciting things for Michigan City as we move forward with all of our wonderful community partners.”
HealthLinc is a not-for-profit Federally Qualified Health Center that provides primary, medical, dental, optometry and behavioral health services to people of all ages regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. In 1996, HealthLinc began as Hilltop Neighborhood House, a neighborhood clinic and childcare center in Valparaiso. Since then, HealthLinc has expanded to 12 clinics, two telehealth clinics and a mobile medical/dental clinic. The Michigan City clinic was established in 2008 at 710 Franklin St. For more information, visit www.healthlincchc.org.