CVHC looks to spring bond issue for facility improvements

The coverage area of the Snohomish County Public Hospital District 3, served by the Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics. -
The coverage area of the Snohomish County Public Hospital District 3, served by the Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics.
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ARLINGTON According to Clark Jones, the Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics are overdue to be renovated and expanded to keep pace with advances in the healthcare field and the growing population within its service area, which is why he hopes that residents covered by the Snohomish County Public Hospital District 3 will support an upcoming bond issue for the CVHC facilities this spring.
Jones, administrator for the district, recalled that the CVHC had planned on tearing down the facility that was built in 1957 when they planned to built another facility in 1987, but because they werent able to pass a bond issue for that year the 1987 facility was pared down and certain services were retained in the 1957 facility.
Not only did Jones contend that the 1957 facility is in poor shape and needs to be replaced, but he also cited the number of medical technologies that the 1987 facility currently accommodates, many of which werent anticipated 20 years ago and act as space-hogs within the increasingly crowded building.
Patients themselves have also been taking up more space in the building than they used to, since Jones listed statistics showing a 26 percent increase in the volume of inpatient care at the CVHC over the course of the past 10 years, along with volume increases of 125 percent in emergency care and 172 percent in other outpatient care during the same period of time.
We have six stations in the ER, but we can open up as many as nine at night, when the ultrasound isnt in use, Jones said. We really need at least 14 beds, though, just to do the jobs that were trying to do today.
After several meetings with hospital and medical staff and administration last fall, as well as key community representatives, a master plan and facility assessment proposed a project designed to relieve these current stresses on patient care spaces and services, while providing enhanced patient-focused care, in a private and uplifting environment.
The proposed project would demolish the 1957 facility and abandon the spaces utilized in the blue-tile building, while replacing the approximately 20,000 square feet of spaces currently used for services, programs and offices in those two buildings.
Likewise, planning with key department representatives for each of the hospitals services has resulted in proposed expansions of 54,000-square-feet of new space, and renovations of approximately 28,000-square-feet of existing space in the 1987 facility, for existing services, programs and patient treatment areas, giving the hospital approximately 112,000-square-feet of total space, after the proposed project is completed.
Theres no point even trying to remodel the 1957 building, Jones said. We will be able to renovate about two-thirds of the 1987 building, bringing it into compliance with current codes and adding between 10-15 years to its lifespan.
These facility improvements come with an estimated price tag of $42.5 million, but Jones believes the costs to voters will ultimately benefit them, by affording them shorter wait times, less patient turnover and more spaces for medical technology at the CVHC.

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