Expansion work on St. Charles Prineville is now under way.
Hospital President John White said remodel construction has already begun in the admissions portion of the facility, which people encounter immediately after walking through the front door. Later, workers will break ground on an expansion to the northeast of the existing building.
The expansion will address needs that hospital leaders discovered after completion of the facility in 2015.
"There was still a need for additional capacity within the hospital for three different things," White said. "One is we would like to develop some sort of open access urgent care-type center for the community, so that folks don't have to come to the ER in times when urgent care would be available to seek care for things that are routine."
These times include Saturdays, early mornings or evenings, he said, as well as daytime hours Monday through Friday.
To create that space, hospital leaders will remodel a portion of the current rehabilitation department, while providing rehab patients a temporary location in exterior modular buildings near the front parking lot of the facility.
The expansion is also meant to provide enough space for visiting specialists, such as cardiologists, OB/GYN doctors or general surgeons.
"We have that space now, but it is not nearly enough," White said.
That portion of the upgrade will be situated alongside the renovated urgent care area, and likewise make use of the current rehabilitation department.
In addition to the approximately 2,500 square feet of renovation planned, the expansion will include a 5,890 square foot addition to the hospital, which is intended to replace and upgrade the rehabilitation space.
"We want to expand the gym space," White said.
Completion of the project is scheduled for this coming fall and comes at a cost of about $3.75 million. It will be funded by two sources, one of which is $1.8 million left over from the dissolution of Pioneer Memorial Hospital in 2017. The second source, $2.4 million, was donated in 2017 by the Prineville Hospital Foundation.
The two donations will not only cover the cost of the expansion construction, they will provide $450,000 for provider recruitment and another $260,000 for IT infrastructure, FF&E (furniture, fixtures and equipment) and other project expenses.
White said that the hospital staff and board of directors are pleased to see work on the expansion finally begin.
"We have been waiting and waiting to get this thing kicked off," he said. "Everybody is excited. It was a clear need."