Northwest Health – La Porte’s new CEO Keith Nichols talks healthcare with La Porte Kiwanis members, provides updates on hospital plans

Lauren Grasham
By: Lauren Grasham Last Updated: February 15, 2022

Offering quality healthcare to La Porte County and the surrounding areas was the focal point on Monday as Keith Nichols, the newly appointed CEO for Northwest Health La Porte, presented to the Rotary Club of La Porte and other community members at T-Bones Pier Eleven Restaurant in La Porte.

Northwest Health Presentation to the La Porte Rotary Club

Northwest Health Presentation to the La Porte Rotary Club 23 Photos
Northwest Health Presentation to the La Porte Rotary ClubNorthwest Health Presentation to the La Porte Rotary ClubNorthwest Health Presentation to the La Porte Rotary ClubNorthwest Health Presentation to the La Porte Rotary Club

Just 91 days into his new position, this event gave Nichols the opportunity to show what the hospital has accomplished and what is to come while allowing him to introduce himself to many La Porte community members.

Northwest Health is always striving to serve its communities with quality healthcare through its various locations throughout the Region including La Porte, Michigan City, Chesterton, and Valparaiso.

To stay on top of the ever-changing and expanding world of healthcare, Nichols addressed some of the recent building and program expansions available for people in La Porte County and surrounding areas. These include two new medical office buildings in La Porte and Michigan City, as well as a new primary care office in Michigan City, and the introduction to the Bariatric Weight Loss Services, the only one of its kind to be in the town of La Porte.

Nichols said the new medical offices under construction on the northeast corner of Johnson Road and CR 400 in Michigan City will house six providers. This site was designed to provide event better access to care for those living in the northern part of La Porte County.

New construction like this means bringing on new staff members, which Nichols said has been a strength of Northwest Health. Recruiting highly qualified physicians to the area is important for the health of the community.

Another recent project, the new Medical Offices at the Northwest Health – La Porte hospital have become the central location for fourteen specialists and several outpatient services.

“We were able to bring our specialists’ offices to the hospital site. Now they have an office where they can walk right down the hall to the hospital to go see their patients, then walk right back to their office to serve patients there,” Nichols said. This also means their patients who need lab work or diagnostic imaging can walk to those departments without leaving the facility.

The specialists and departments in the new Medical Offices at the hospital are able to address a variety of conditions such as cardiovascular issues, cancer, wounds that aren’t healing properly, and sleep conditions like sleep apnea.

Nichols is quite excited to be joining the Northwest Health team. Born in Oklahoma and previously from Prescott, Arizona, Nichols comes to Northwest Health after serving as the chief operating officer for Dignity Health Yavapai Regional Medical Center where he was responsible for two acute care hospitals and multiple outpatient care sites. He holds a master’s degree in administration from the University of Texas in Arlington. He also has experience working at Baylor Scott & White Health in Texas.

Nichols said he was drawn to Northwest Health because of its dedication to giving its patients the best care possible.

“I had five other choices. I could have gone to multiple different places in the country. I chose here because of our statement ‘Compassionate Caring is our Calling.’ That was the statement that was on their tagline; everything they believe. As a service provider of healthcare, it's important that we don't lose sight of that. That we are here to serve people that are in need.”

His inspiration to work in healthcare came from his grandfather, who was a doctor.

“I was in his clinic in Chandler, Oklahoma wearing a lab coat dragging the ground carrying B-12 and was walking down the hallway with them,” he said. “I remember to this day, that's the way healthcare was. He did everything; delivered babies, amputated feet. You name it, he did it, because that's what you did in health care back then.” 

No matter where Nichols works, his employees and patients are always his top priority, and he finds that the Northwest Health community supports his philosophy to a tee.

“I'm a person who drives culture by making sure our people are empowered to do what they love. Because if people are happy and have a place to come to work, which they love as a family, they'll do the right thing for those they serve. So that's really my philosophy and I've done that throughout my career,” he said.

For more information on Northwest Health, visit https://www.nwhealthin.com/.