FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) It took two years for the Veteran Affairs of Northern Indiana Health Care System to reinstate its intensive care unit (ICU) services at its Fort Wayne Campus.
The healthcare’s ICU closed in October of 2012. It was at that time that Congressman Marlin Stutzman and Senator Joe Donnelly began working together to re-open the facility.
On Saturday, both Stutzman and Donnelly were in Fort Wayne where the VA center held a press conference which reinstated ICU services. Hospital employees said staffing was a challenge which is why it took the facility so long to re-open.
During those years, Parkview and Lutheran treated about four to five veterans at a time in their ICU centers.
The VA has opened two beds for patients at its campus located at 2121 Lake Ave. Two more beds are expected to open in the next two months, Director of the VA Indiana Healthcare System, Denise Deitzen said.
At the press conference, Deitzen spoke about the new features reopening the ICU brings. The renovations cost around $3 million including additional staff and training. Five nurses were already treating patients at the VA center. The reopening of the ICU meant the addition of 7 nurses and other positions like bio-medical technicians, clerical and pharmaceutical staff. There are nearly 25 staff members that run the VA ICU 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
In the future, VA of Northern Indiana is hoping to expand its ICU as well as its surgery services.