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St. Charles hosts a ribbon cutting and open house last week to show off its new expansion and remodel to the public

RAMONA MCCALLISTER - Becky Munn, left, holds the ribbon as Todd Shields, vice president of administration at St. Charles Prineville, cuts the ribbon for the official grand opening of the new expansion of the hospital, with St. Charles staff and visitors looking on in the background.

Thursday evening, St. Charles Prineville conducted an open house of its newly completed expansion amidst a standing-room-only crowd.

The event took place on the north side of the hospital, which includes the physical therapy and rehabilitation departments, where visitors convened with a light meal and hors d' oeuvres hosted by Club Pioneer and staff.

The evening began with an opening presentation from Todd Shields, vice president of administration at the local hospital.

"We are excited to share the expansion and talk about it," he said. Hospital staff were available for short tours later in the evening.

The completed project includes about 2,500 square feet of renovation and a 5,890-square-foot addition to the hospital intended to replace and upgrade the rehabilitation space.

The expansion will result in the opening of an immediate care walk-in clinic on March 2. It will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The rehabilitation department will also open for business in its new location on March 2.

"We have increased the space because I don't think we have been serving the community well," Shields said about the rehabilitation department in a presentation earlier in the month to the Prineville City Council. "Right now, it takes three to four weeks to get in for just an evaluation, and then it might take another three weeks to get your first appointment."

With the added space, plus the upcoming hire of another physical therapist, the goal is to reduce the wait for an initial evaluation to two weeks or less and schedule the first appointment within a week.

In addition to the rehabilitation space, Shields emphasized that the renovation had three primary goals.

"One is around improved access to St. Charles Family Care for our primary care providers," he said, adding that a second goal is "improved access to surgical clinics and visiting specialists." A third goal, he said, was to create a "walk-in, same-day service" for the community.

Shields indicated the upgrades are expected to improve the quality of service that St. Charles Prineville provides, particularly when it comes to the timeframe people receive care.

He expressed a similar goal for surgical care access, noting that upgrades should make room for more visiting surgical specialists.

"We need to get the right care at the right time at the right place," he said. "Right now, our (emergency department) utilization is extremely high."

While hospital staff cannot legally send emergency department visitors to the immediate care clinic, Shields said the immediate care option should result in people with less emergent medical needs taking advantage of the new walk-in option.

The expansion project is 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.

Shields introduced Mike Mohan during the open house, representing the Prineville Hospital Foundation.

"The Prineville Community helped build this expansion," Mohan said.

Mohan gave a brief history of Pioneer Memorial Hospital, which initially opened in 1948. In conclusion, Mohan quoted the words that graced the entrance of the old hospital, "For those sick and in need of help, these doors will never close."

Dr. Maggie King also welcomed the visitors to the new expansion. King is a primary care physician at St. Charles Family Care in Prineville and has practiced in the community since 2006.

"We are thrilled to open our new space," she said as she welcomed the large crowd of visitors.

Joseph Sluka, CEO of St. Charles Health System, was present at the ribbon-cutting and grand opening as well. He came a day early to walk through the current hospital.

"It is absolutely a beautiful facility," he said. "What makes it great is the people inside."

Sidebar

The immediate care walk-in clinic at St. Charles Prineville will open its doors March 2. It will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The rehabilitation department will open for business in its new location on Feb. 25. They ask that customers park in front of the main entrance to the hosptial lobby "galleria."

They should enter through the double doors into the galleria,

and not to wait in line in the galleria - turn to the left and follow the signs to Rehabilitation.


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