Spokane Journal of Business

Holy Family plans expansion

Design work under way on up to $25 million project to enlarge emergency department

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Holy Family Hospital plans to spend $20 million to $25 million to expand both its busy emergency room and its radiology and imaging department, as well as to remodel areas used for outpatient care and other services.


Holy Family has received budgetary approval from the governing board of Providence Services Eastern Washington, which oversees both Holy Family and Sacred Heart Medical Center here, for design work on the project, says Cathy Simchuk, the hospitals vice president of patient-care services. She says the hospital will seek board approval early next year to build and equip the planned expansion.


If that approval is granted, construction might start next spring and likely would take about two years to complete, Simchuk says. The work would be done in phases, with the remodeling work following construction of the expansion, she says.


The Holy Family project is the latest in a flurry of expansion projects hospitals here have announced this year. Sacred Heart is planning a 166,000-square-foot expansion that will house womens services, a neonatal intensive care unit, new surgical suites, and some services for a proposed childrens hospital. That project likely will cost about $90 million and is expected to take about three years to complete, hospital officials say.


Deaconess Medical Center expects to start construction in February of an $18 million, four-story expansion that will add about 88,000 square feet of floor space for physicians offices and hospital uses at its health and education center. At Valley Hospital & Medical Center, preliminary work will start in April on a $20 million, two-story expansion that will add 24,500 square feet of space to accommodate an expanded emergency department, an enlarged outpatient surgery area, and two new operating rooms.


Earl Swensson Associates Inc., of Nashville, Tenn., is designing the Holy Family project.


The expansion would be built onto the east side of the hospital, near the current emergency department and imaging center. It would include a new, 17,000-square-foot emergency department, roughly two and a half times the size of the current one, Simchuk says.


Holy Familys emergency room treats about 3,700 people each month and is one of the busiest in the city, says hospital spokeswoman Anne McKeon. Its staffed and equipped to provide care to victims of major traumas such as serious auto-crash injuries, to heart-attack and stroke victims, and for minor injuries and illnesses, she says.


Valley Hospital sees about 2,200 patients at its emergency room each month, and Deaconess emergency department treats roughly 2,500 patients monthly, says Julie Kaplicky, a spokeswoman for Empire Health Services, which oversees both of those hospitals. The Sacred Heart emergency room treats an average of more than 3,300 patients each month, the hospitals Internet Web site says.


Population growth on Spokanes North Side has driven up the demand for emergency medical services at Holy Family, and the emergency department, which regularly has upgraded and expanded services over the years, has run out of room to grow, McKeon says.


Simchuk says Holy Family and Inland Imaging LLC, which provides outpatient radiology services at the hospital, are discussing ways to reconfigure the hospitals radiology and imaging department as part of the big project. The radiology department, which is located next to the emergency department, likely would expand into space both in the addition and in part of the area now occupied by the emergency department, Simchuk says.


The proposed project also would include remodeling part of the hospitals first floor to accommodate outpatient care, Simchuk says. A growing number of hospital services are provided on an outpatient basis, but Holy Family, which was built when hospitals were designed to accommodate mostly overnight stays, currently has outpatient services scattered throughout the hospital. Consolidating those services in a central location on the first floor would eliminate the need for patients to trek the hospital corridors to reach the services they need, she says.


Space vacated by the emergency department after it moves into its expanded quarters also likely will be used to house other services consolidated from elsewhere in the hospital, Simchuk says.

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