GOSHEN — Goshen Health is enhancing its 66-year-old inpatient facilities with an $87 million expansion.

A full crowd that consisted of Elkhart County and city leaders, project stakeholders, employees of the hospital and board members of Goshen Health attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the new project on Monday outside the north entrance of the hospital, 200 High Park Ave.

Plans for the project include removing the 1953 addition of the northwest side of the hospital and building a four-story, 106-unit private patient room tower in its place. There will also be a residence for medical students, an office for the hospital foundation and a new location for the Care House.

During the ceremony, the project’s leadership talked about the need to update the facility.

Julie Crossley, chief nursing officer for Goshen Health, said the four-story patient tower will help the hospital with meeting the needs “of not just our community today, but the future needs moving forward.”

“This building has served the community very well for over 65 years, but over that same period of time, our patients have changed, health care delivery has changed and it’s all requiring a very sophisticated design and facility upon opening in 2022,” she said.

Randy Christophel, the hospital’s president and CEO, spoke on the vision of the expansion and how it will better serve patients.

“This facility is for individual families and patients,” he said. “It’s for mom and new baby as they welcome the new celebration of bringing that new life into their families. It’s for the families coming through the crisis of a heart attack and how the wonderful skills and capabilities have helped them and got them back into moving forward in a positive way. It’s for those difficult cancer patients … and is also designed for families and friends as they work through the end of life processes. So, I look forward to the decades to come on how this facility is going to take care of our families, friends and communities that we serve.”

Also in attendance was Goshen Mayor Jeremy Stutsman.

“This is a huge project not only for Goshen Hospital, but also for the community of Goshen,” he said. “Having the quality of service as they offer to this community to our area is phenomenal. It helps us continue to grow. Goshen thrives off working together and this is another great example of that.”

The hospital currently has 122 inpatient rooms, but can never use them to capacity because of things like infectious disease isolation requirements. The rooms are also small and poorly configured, with less space at the patient’s bedside for family, physicians and medical equipment, according to previous reports

“It’s real common for a complex patient to have multiple pieces of equipment by their bedside,” Christophel said. “We want to have plenty of space and a proper configuration for the treatment environment.”

The new rooms will all be private, and should be more comfortable for family members who stay for long hours in addition to the patient, he said. The tower will also offer the possibility of further expansion to 128 rooms.

The entire project is expected to wrap up in 2022, according to project leaders.

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