PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson Healthcare hospital will debut its new $20 million facility Sunday with a ribbon-cutting and tours of the new facility.
The new 50,000-square-foot Emergency and Specialty Services building will host a new emergency room, medical short-stay areas — including cancer treatment units — and more space for specialty clinicians, according to Jefferson Healthcare CEO Mike Glenn.
The building will open officially Sunday, with a ribbon-cutting at 3 p.m. with featured speakers U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer — who represents the 24th District that includes Clallam and Jefferson counties — and state Rep. Steve Tharinger, D-Sequim.
There will also be an open house Monday, and patients will be using the building as well.
Glenn said all of next week, doctors and administrators will be moving into the building — a fairly straightforward process for most everyone except the ER.
“Obviously we can’t just shut the ER down to move,” Glenn said. “We’ve organized staff so we’ll have two ERs running for a short time while the move happens.”
Glenn said they will begin seeing patients in the new ER at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday and begin moving everything over from the old ER.
While that happens, both ERs will be fully functioning for about three hours.
“We chose 5:30 a.m. because it tends to be a slow time,” Glenn said. “I don’t expect any issues, but we’re preparing for the worst.”
He said the plan is to have everyone moved in and for the building to be fully utilized by the end of next week.
According to Glenn, the building had been in planning for roughly five years before the hospital broke ground in June 2015.
“We looked at what the needs of the facility were and then found the most cost-effective way to fill those needs,” said Glenn. “Turned out it was most cost-effective to just build up.”
The new building also added a significant amount of parking, which has been an issue in the past, according to Kate Burke, marketing manager for Jefferson Healthcare.
“We just want to make it as easy as possible for people to get in and out of here,” Burke said.
In order to do that, Glenn said they not only added multiple new entrances but also made the new building easier for patients to navigate.
“We really focused on making that ‘wayfinding’ more intuitive,” said Glenn.
Part of that was making sure the new building connected seamlessly with the current building. Currently at the entrance of the new building, you find yourself on “main street,” the main corridor through the hospital, Glenn said.
“If you look down the hallway, you see the surgical doors, which are an easy landmark,” he added.
The new building also boasts environmentally friendly features such as green roofs, solar shades and herb gardens for the hospital kitchen.
“We were very interested in efficiency and sustainability,” Glenn said.
“We wanted the project to represent the ideals that are important to people in this area, so we put a big emphasis on environmentally sustainable building practices.”
The main floor of the new building will hold the main registration desk along with cardiac services, the new ER, administrative offices, conference rooms, imaging, labs, sleep medicine, surgical services and waiting rooms.
The lower level will host the rehabilitation services, respiratory care and financial counselors.
The second floor will house cardiology and orthopedics, and the third floor will be taken up by oncology, wound care and infusion — including chemotherapy stations that boast a view of the bay.
“We purposely established our chemotherapy unit with the best view in the house,” Glenn said.
There is also an upper level of the building that will contain patient rooms, intensive care rooms and a family birth center.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected].