SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — In about three years, McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center could look very different than it does right now.
Extensive and expensive remodeling starts Friday. McKenzie-Willamette says this will be the most significant construction project to happen to the hospital in more than 30 years, and hospital staff say all the improvements are done in an effort to provide patients the best care possible.
“The picture that you see here is the donors lined up in 1955 opening the hospital, and I’m really hoping this expansion meets their vision for a community hospital,” said Maurine Cate, CEO of McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center.
Things have changed a lot since then, and hospital staff believe it’s time for the medical center to undergo some change as well.
“As more patients entrusted their care to McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center, it was clear there was a need to expand how we serve our community,” said Michael Schwartz, chairman of the MWMC Board.
And that is why $80 million will be in the hospital. One hundred and fifty-three thousand square feet of space will be added. Fifty-six thousand square feet of renovations will be made.
At the same time, the hospital will also transition to all private rooms.
And while the number of spaces will go from 113 to 98, staff members believe the switch will result in a better overall experience because nurses can better provide focused attention.
“The space is set up so that the nurses are efficient and they don’t have to go too far from place to place from room to room from medicine drawer to patient. The more efficient you make the nurses, the better the patient care,” said Dr. Jay Chappell.
The most visible part of the project will be a patient tower, which will be home to a new neonatal intensive care unit, expanded surgical and cardiovascular units and beds for medical and surgical patients. Those are just some of the many changes to come.
The hospital staff say patient care should not be greatly impacted by the ongoing construction. They say the architects on the job have taken into great consideration that the hospital must function as it normally does at all times, providing alternatives as needed as to not interrupt services.