Groundbreaking: Silverton medical center starts $35 million expansion

July 2022 Posted in Community, Your Health

By Brenna Wiegand

When Silverton Hospital affiliated with Legacy Health six years ago, the health care company committed to making significant improvements toward optimizing the medical center’s ability to provide top-notch health care for Silverton and surrounds.

Legacy staff and community representatives break ground on the $58 million Legacy Silverton Medical Center upgrade project.

Legacy staff and community representatives break ground on the $58 million Legacy Silverton Medical Center upgrade project.

“Part of that commitment was a pledge on the part of Legacy to invest $58 million into Silverton Medical Center over the next several years,” said Jonathan Avery, President of Legacy Silverton Medical Center and Legacy’s Willamette Region at large. “Until now those dollars have been spent on a whole variety of projects such as new equipment, including 3D mammography, a surgical robotics program and the recruitment of new physicians to the area.”

Meanwhile, Legacy has worked with the Silverton Health Foundation Board, physicians and stakeholders to define Silverton’s most important health care services and where they needed to expand services and further invest in the community and the hospital.

During the review the highest priority was the expansion of the emergency department as well as a new, expanded imaging center including services that cater to women’s needs.

Legacy Health Board member, Gayle Goschie.

Legacy Health Board member, Gayle Goschie.

Legacy Silverton Medical Center President, Jonathan Avery.

Legacy Silverton Medical Center President, Jonathan Avery.

In its entirety, the expansion will add about 21,000 square feet to the medical center footprint and cost $35 million.

“We are so thankful for our community donors at the medical center and for a vibrant hospital foundation that has committed an additional $2 million to the project,” Avery said.

The expansion includes many other improvements and will be conducted in two phases. Phase 1 commenced July 5 after a community groundbreaking ceremony June 29.

“In Phase 1 we are adding separate, distinct entrances to the hospital and the emergency department and a visitor and patient-friendly covered drop-off area which right now doesn’t exist,” Avery said. “This will greatly optimize patient flow whether you’re here for elective services or coming in on an emergency basis.”

The first phase also includes the development of a new emergency department, new imaging equipment including CT and X-ray that is specifically needed to take care of emergency patients and the creation of more parking across Center Street and a dedicated Life Flight helicopter pad across from the hospital entrance on Fairview Street.

The new emergency department will grow from its current footprint of 12 treatment rooms to 20 and each patient room will be 30% larger. The treatment rooms will include a full range of capabilities from specialized trauma to airborne isolation patient rooms.

The emergency department has been optimized for natural light with windows that offer views of nature. Equipment will be built into the headwall to improve patient safety and provide the technology that caregivers need to get to quickly in an emergency.

The trauma/cardiac room will be a very large space for patients with critical emergencies. It will contain all the equipment that patients in cardiac arrest and other severe trauma need and provide additional room for caregivers to administer care.

Phase 1 results in a combination of the new emergency department, new entrances and a spacious new lobby that includes registration and admitting areas and an expanded coffee shop.

The expanded reception lobby will feature registration stations and private admitting booths so patients and their families can have greater privacy while checking into the hospital and while meeting with financial counselors.

It is slated for completion in fall of 2023.

With the current emergency department vacated, Phase 2 involves expanding available square footage for a modernized diagnostic imaging center.

“The new imaging center is going to be a huge improvement for the community and allows us to do a couple things that are really important to the care of our patients, including the addition of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine,” Avery said. “The other really key piece to this diagnostic imaging remodel is being able to dedicate a section of the imaging center for women’s imaging that brings our 3D mammography, ultrasound and DEXA Scan into a dedicated suite set up specifically for women.

“It allows for really great patient flow, excellent privacy and other accoutrements we like to have in a women’s imaging center,” he said.

On the heels of Phase 1, Phase 2 will commence in late fall of 2023 with completion slated for the end of 2024.

“The general diagnostic imaging center enhancement in Phase 2 refers to certain imaging modalities that are huge components to taking care of emergency department patients and we will have those located adjacent to the emergency department,” Avery said. “Having CT scan and X-ray located directly across from the emergency department will be super-efficient and very safe, minimizing the transfer of patients.”

The hospital also will gain a new all faiths chapel and a new waiting room for the Family Birth Center.

The new facility will be characterized by lots of windows looking onto gardens, nature-themed art and other spaces geared to create a relaxed feeling throughout.

“This speaks to our architects, who have done a great job of bringing nature into the spaces to make them as peaceful and as healing as possible,” Avery said.

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