On target – Legacy Silverton upgrade due to wrap in fall

May 2023 Posted in Business

By Brenna Wiegand

When Legacy Health affiliated with Silverton Hospital seven 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 the surrounding area, including a $58 million investment into the medical center over the next several years.

Until now those dollars have been spent on a variety of projects including new equipment that provides 3-D mammography, a surgical robotics program and the recruitment of new physicians to the area.

Last July, work commenced on a comprehensive expansion and remodel to the facility itself. The goal is to  improve patient flow, efficiency, ease of operation and privacy. The changes will bring the center up to par with larger facilities while enhancing the hospital’s overall ambiance.

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


A drone photo from April shows the progress of the expansion and remodel of Legacy Silverton Medical Center. The facility broke ground on Phase 1 on June 29. It will increase the building’s footprint by 21,000 square feet. Steve Beckner

A drone photo from April shows the progress of the expansion and remodel of Legacy Silverton Medical Center. The facility broke ground on Phase 1 on June 29. It will increase the building’s footprint by 21,000 square feet.    Steve Beckner


The project comes in two phases. The first involves the addition of separate, distinct entrances to the hospital, one for arriving emergency patients and the second for all others.

Improvements in the hospital’s new emergency department will start with an increase of eight treatment rooms for a total of 20, each 30% larger than before.

The treatment rooms will include capabilities from specialized trauma care to airborne isolation patient rooms. Components of care that required bringing in carts or taking patients elsewhere in the hospital for tests will be able to be performed in the more self-contained spaces.

The larger rooms make it possible for caregivers to surround the bed on all sides and have equipment built into the headwall to improve patient safety.  The technology that caregivers need to get to quickly in an emergency will be readily available.

Emergency department staff was involved in designing the rooms.

“We were able to set up a mock room for the ED staff to examine and through their feedback we ended up making big changes to how it was initially laid out,” Karen Brady, Legacy Silverton Medical Center’s Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer, said. 

“We did another mock-up of the trauma room and received feedback such as where to locate the sink and where to put the boom that holds all the equipment.

“Having the team come down and play around with how its set up plays a huge role in optimizing the ED for the people who are actually going to be using it,” Brady said. 

“It’s been really nice to see their involvement and their excitement for this new, improved and bigger space, which has also been optimized for natural light with windows that provide soothing views of nature.”

Phase 1 also involves new imaging equipment, the creation of more parking across Center Street and a dedicated Life Flight helicopter pad across from the hospital entrance.

The new helipad is already available, meaning it will no longer be necessary to evacuate portions of the parking lot when a Life Flight helicopter is en route.

Work is under way on a spacious lobby with more registration stations and private admitting boothsn as well as a new gift shop and an espresso bar that includes seating.

“We’re on target right now for a completion date the middle of October which means we would probably open at the end of October,” Brady said. “So far, the weather has been very cooperative.”

Phase 2 will commence on the heels of Phase 1. The former ED area will be part of a transformed diagnostic imaging center.

Plans call for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine, a fluoroscopy radiology room and a section dedicated solely to the imaging involved in women’s health, bringing together 3-D mammography, ultrasound and bone density scans.

The medical center design incorporates colors, art and windows to focus on bringing the outside in to create a peaceful atmosphere.

“This is an ongoing process of Legacy’s commitment to invest in improving healthcare access and healthcare services to the community of Silverton,” Brady said. 

“We’re continually looking for areas where we can contain costs to stay within budget despite the inflation and delays with supplies the pandemic has brought on.

“We just feel like we’re a little gem down here in the Willamette Valley and we want to make sure that it fits in nicely with our community,” she added.

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