Forks Community Hospital receives $850,000 grant

FORKS — By its administrator’s own admission, Forks Community Hospital has a “teeny” operating room.

But that’s going to change.

On Friday, Forks Community Hospital was awarded $850,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant money by the state’s Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development.

The grant money, when added to almost $500,000 in money raised by the hospital privately, will be used to build a new operating room wing where the hospital’s current parking lot sits.

“This is an absolutely wonderful thing to increase services, especially for low-income patient access to care,” said Camille Scott, hospital administrator, on Friday.

“This is going to bring dollars into Forks.”

Small operating room

Scott said that the current operating room is too small, one of several realities that prompted hospital officials to start planning an expansion to the hospital last year.

The operating room’s current state has limited the number of medical specialists who come into Forks from out of town — especially from Port Angeles and Seattle — to treat West End patients, Scott said.

“To bring in specialists here, we need a space large enough for these people to do their work,” Scott said.

“We also identified a large Medicaid population here that is unable to go and see medical specialists in outlying areas like Port Angeles and Seattle.”

Scott said officials completed a master plan in November that featured two main components: remodeling the operating room and adding a new medical and mental health clinic.

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