The President and CEO of the LaPorte Regional Health System visited with the administrative team and Community Hospital Board at IU Health Starke Hospital this week. Thor Thordarson praised the leadership team for turning around the hospital that he said was losing money before they arrived.
“I came down here to congratulate the board and the leadership team for doing a fabulous job over the last several years, and really turning this hospital around from losing millions of dollars a year a few years ago to having a healthy operating margin in 2011,” stated Thordarson. “I know it’s been difficult here for the last few years so it’s very nice to see the fruits of all those very difficult decisions came out and good quality health care and financial results happen.”
In October, IU Health LaPorte Hospital presented a proposal to Starke County officials to purchase the facility here. As presented in October, the hopes were that the acquisition would be completed before the first part of April. Thordarson said the purchase of the facility is still a priority, while not mentioning a time line.
“That’s what we would like to do but we’re willing to work with the local county officials to make sure the right decision is made, and that’s really the bottom line. We want to do what is right for the community.”
It was stated at the October meeting that much needs to be upgraded here, but the LaPorte system didn’t feel like investing a lot of money without ownership. It was even mentioned that a new hospital, possibly costing as much as $40 million dollars, could be built here if LaPorte owned Starke. Thordarson was asked if building was still a viable possibility.
“Absolutely,” he replied. “The plans are on the table and we’d like to see that happen, but that’s subject to discussion and planning and approval by the local county officials and by the IU Health system. We’d love to continue to pursue that.”