HAMMOND, Ill.  — A Northwest Indiana hospital that a judge ordered to keep its emergency room open past the end of the year can close its doors after all.

An Indiana appellate court has ruled that Franciscan Health of Hammond can shut down its emergency services on Saturday at midnight. 

SEE ALSO | Hammond hospital ordered to keep ER running another 9 months

Franciscan has been embroiled in a legal battle over its plans to cease its Hammond operations on Dec. 31. 

Residents and local lawmakers argue it will put lives at risk. 

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On Thursday, a judge upheld an injunction and ordered Franciscan to remain open for nine months. In response, the hospital appealed and on Friday, a judge ruled in their favor, allowing them to close during the appeals process.

Franciscan Health Hammond Interim president and CEO issued a statement:

“Franciscan Alliance is grateful for the Court of Appeals order. As such, Franciscan will proceed with ceasing operations and closing the emergency department as of Dec. 31, 2022. As most ambulances have already stopped bringing patients to Franciscan Health Hammond, we do not expect that closing the Emergency Department will cause disruption in emergency medical care for residents. As we pointed out to the Court of Appeals, many Hammond neighborhoods are closer to other hospitals within the region than they were to Franciscan Health Hammond.

“We believe this decision prioritizes patient safety, which has been our primary concern throughout the legal proceedings.”

Franciscan Health Hammond, Dyer and Munster Interim president and CEO Barbara Anderson