Methodist Hospitals plans to begin creating an academic-focused campus in the next year, hospital president and CEO Ian McFadden said Monday.
The hospital system already has a residency program with Northwestern University and plans to add a family practice residency with Indiana University.
McFadden talked about the health system's goals for the next 180 days with members of the Gary Chamber of Commerce on Monday afternoon at the Genesis Convention Center, discussing new programs, improving programs and services and answering questions about health care reform.
"Health care is changing," McFadden said. "Health reform legislation has already caused hospitals to do a lot of rethinking."
In the next six months, Methodist Hospitals will complete its conversion to EPIC, an electronic medical records system, and create an orthopedic and spine center. McFadden also said the health system will create a comprehensive breast care center, and the equipment for that center already has been ordered.
The hospital plans to expand its outpatient sites and services, adding another six sites in the next six months and add another 150 doctors to its existing 450 physicians.
"We want to be there for all of your needs," he said.
During a short question and answer session, the new health care legislation was brought up twice. McFadden said it is his opinion that insurance premiums likely will continue to rise, and that despite the election of more Republicans to Congress, the legislation is here to stay.
"I think it's something that had to be done," he said. "We need people covered."