Good news is coming to an area of Fort Wayne with a dearth of health care options.

Park Center, an affiliate of Parkview Health, is purchasing the Lafayette Medical Center building, 2700 Lafayette St., enabling an expansion of existing services and creating greater access to mental and physical health care. The clinic is in the 46806 ZIP code, which is a federally designated health professional shortage area.

Park Center has leased space in the building since August 2018 for a primary care clinic with the intent of one day purchasing the facility. The organization’s goal was to create a practice that fully integrated mental and physical health care, with a focus on underserved populations.

Several community organizations supported the project through financial contributions. The Lutheran Foundation, English-Bonter-Mitchell Foundation, Edward M. and Mary McCrea Wilson Foundation, St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and AWS Foundation all donated to the project, launching the initial clinic space and supporting the eventual purchase and continued renovation of the building.

“It’s very rewarding to see Park Center’s vision continue to take shape,” said Marcia Haaff, CEO of The Lutheran Foundation, in a news release. “This project embodies The Lutheran Foundation’s values, including strategic partnerships with organizations like Park Center, to positively impact the community. By continuing to grow access to health care, we enhance the quality of life for area residents.”

Clyde Nix, who just stepped in as president and CEO of Park Center on Jan. 1, said community support has been key to success. He follows Paul Wilson, who retired after more than 41 years.

“In partnership with Parkview Health and our community partners, we are excited to see the medical center grow from primary care to comprehensive physical and mental health services,” Nix said in a news release. “By combining and expanding our efforts, we can remove barriers to care and better serve the community.”

Park Center became an affiliate of Parkview Health in October 2018. The organizations have collaborated to fulfill Park Center’s goals for the Lafayette Medical Center, creating an innovative care model that will include new and expanded specialty care staffed by Parkview Physicians Group providers and support teams.

“The partnership between Park Center and Parkview Health was designed to better meet the spectrum of mental health needs in our region,” said Marlon Wardlow, senior vice president of equity and inclusion, Parkview Health, in the news release. “By working together with community partners to expand the services available at Lafayette Medical Center, we will add high-quality care through an innovative approach for the residents of central and southeast Fort Wayne. Parkview remains focused on meeting the current and future needs of our community.”

A purchase agreement for the 33,683-square-foot building has been signed, but a closing date has not been set. After an anticipated closing in the first quarter, renovation will begin and new services could be available later this year.

Other current tenants in the building include Lafayette Foot and Ankle, which operates a 2,432-square-foot clinic on the first floor of the facility, and Indiana University Fort Wayne, which operates a 2,465-square-foot family health clinic on the second floor. Both tenants are expected to continue operating from the building.

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