Work to expand and renovate Prineville's hospital and St. Charles Family Care clinic is on schedule and on track for a March 2020 opening.
Once complete, the project will give the clinic enough space and providers to offer same-day appointments to people who show up in need of immediate or unscheduled care. Currently, Prineville has no options for walk-in care, so those patients must visit the hospital's Emergency Department.
"We have several providers who are already here and taking new patients, and we're in the process of hiring new doctors, new nurse practitioners and new physician assistants," said Todd Shields, vice president and hospital administrator of St. Charles Prineville. "Starting in March, same-day appointments will be available from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and anyone can walk in and be seen. You don't have to be a current patient."
In addition to new providers, the expansion project will add 6,300 square feet of newly built space and renovate 3,000 square feet of existing space. The facility will gain 12 new exam rooms and two new procedure rooms, plus Outpatient Rehab will gain rooms for occupational therapy and speech therapy.
The new space has also been designed to accommodate a variety of visiting specialists, though exactly what kind of specialists will come to Prineville has yet to be determined, Shields said.
"With same-day capability, more room for rehab and space for more specialists, people in Crook County – both residents and visitors – will have better access to care than ever before," Shields said. "This project is all about supporting our community by helping them find affordable care at the right time and place."
The expansion project was made possible in August of 2018 thanks to $4.2 million in donations from the Pioneer Memorial Hospital Residual Board and the Prineville Hospital Foundation. The residual board's portion came from the sale of the old Pioneer Memorial Hospital building in Prineville, and the foundation's portion came from its fundraising efforts over many years.
"The foundation was formed to provide capital resources to our Prineville hospital, and because of thousands of civic-minded and generous donors, millions of dollars have gone to this purpose," said Bobbi Brooks, president of the Prineville Hospital Foundation. "With the remaining funds donated over the years, it was very important to the foundation board to find a perfect place for it."
As part of that search, Brooks and her board members started talking with St. Charles about improvements to the Prineville clinic and hospital. With the need to expand and establish walk-in, same-day access apparent, the two sides came to a quick agreement on how those funds could be used.
"This is the perfect fit to give the community the clinic that it deserves," Brooks said. "We're thrilled because we can say to our community, 'Your dollars that you so generously donated have gone toward keeping health care in Crook County vital and ever-improving.'"
Without question, the appreciation is mutual, said Shields.
"We recognize the fact that this is a community of incredible people and that this hospital would not thrive without their support," he said. "That was a really important aspect of this project for us."
Looking ahead, Brooks said Crook County's support of St. Charles Prineville shouldn't end when the last donated dollars are spent and the new spaces in the clinic and hospital open for business next spring.
"It's a whole new beginning with St. Charles Foundation at the helm to continue the commitment to quality health care services through your continued contributions and support of our Prineville hospital," she said.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.