KDH One Year Later
Madison’s new hospital is a hit
with employees, patients
Newly hired CEO Dozier
still dealing with adjustments
(February 2014) – While Madison, Ind., often seems timeless, change does happen. When it does, city residents learn to acclimate. The patients and staff at King’s Daughters’ Health have had plenty of time to get settled in the year since the hospital moved from the downtown to a newly built facility on the Madison hilltop.
Carol Dozier has had half the adjustment period that other long-term hospital staff has enjoyed. Relocating from Laramie, Wyo., last year, she joined KDH as its president and chief executive officer in July, replacing longtime CEO Roger Allman, who retired after 20 years.
“I worked my way up to an administrative role, and eventually it all brought me here.”
– KDH Health CEO Carol Dozier
While Dozier was not present for the hospital’s big move, she can discern how the hospital benefits from its new home. “I think the patient experience is better,” she said. “We have private rooms for patients, larger rooms and new technology that makes it easier to provide care.”
Dozier is a native of Valparaiso, Ind., where she began a lifelong career in health service as a registered nurse. She spent more than 22 years working at the Porter County Health Services System before leaving Valparaiso to explore her career.
“I worked my way up to an administrative role,” she said, “and eventually it all brought me here.”
Allman led KDH in its original downtown location. He stayed on for an additional six months to oversee the move to the hilltop before retiring. He has since moved to his hometown of Fort Wayne, Ind.
After six months in the president’s chair, Dozier said, “It’s been very good. I love the community. We have great employees and a really great medical staff. It’s just a joy working here.”
However, in a town of Madison’s size and history, a change in one area often makes an impact in others. Main Street businesses see less of KDH’s numerous employees now that most of them work on the hilltop. “I don’t think it’s had a severe affect,” said Marni Todd, owner of the Floating Cow merchandise shop. “We used to have a lot of staff come down during their breaks and have lunch downtown, maybe stop in and shop. We used to see people walking, but we don’t have that on a daily basis like before.”
Main Street restaurant owner Harry Dobbins agrees that KDH’s move has altered customer flow in the Downtowner Restaurant and less so in Shooters Sports Bar and Grill, which he opens for the evening game-time crowd. “Lunch business is off just a little bit,” he said. “The hospital em-ployees were heavy customers at the Downtowner. It’s not devastating, but we’d love to have them back downtown.”
Photo by Don Ward
KDH Health’s new hospital opened one year ago this month on the Madison hilltop, and so far it has received rave reviews.
Todd added, “We hope that people coming to the hospital are still visiting downtown after their appointments as opposed to just going straight there and leaving. It’s more inconvenient for the employees, I think. We still see regulars on the weekends, though, which is one reason we’re open every day.”
“Cold weather affects us more, honestly,” Dobbins said, “but by spring, we expect to be back to normal.”
Geographical novelty aside, Dozier sees the still sparkling facility of the new KDH as a draw for desirable staff who want the latest in medical technology and state-of-the-art operating rooms, perks that have “already helped us recruit new physicians. They like what a new building offers.”
Not everything is finalized for KDH. The cancer treatment center still operates downtown at the corner of Fifth and West streets, along with the hospital’s business office and ambulance dispatch services. There are currently no plans for the relocation of those departments. KDH administration evaluates the hospital’s need and “it wouldn’t be efficient to duplicate,” Dozier said.
Trilogy Health Services purchased the downtown hospital building from KDH last year for $1, and plans to convert it into a senior living facility are currently in progress. Trilogy owns and operates senior care properties throughout Indiana and its surrounding states, including Thornton Terrace in Hanover, Ind.
Leslie Knox, Trilogy’s Assistant Vice President of Communications and Creative Services, said Trilogy has begun demolition that will continue over several weeks in February on the second and third floors. Collaborating with Mayor Damon Welch’s office, Trilogy plans to offer both independent and assisted living in the new facility as well as traditional nursing resources.
“It will be nice to bring that variety of services to one location,” Knox said. “We’re focused on making it the best resource we can for seniors.”
Trilogy’s Madison campus is scheduled to open in 2015.
Back to February 2014 Articles.