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  • MultiCare approved to build new hospital in Covington

    In a move that will increase access to quality health care in South King County, residents of Covington have won the right to a hometown hospital.

    MultiCare Health System’s application to build a comprehensive, 58-bed hospital in Covington was approved Tuesday by the state Department of Health.

    “We are thrilled to be able to bring a new hospital to Covington,” said Hugh Kodama, Administrator for MultiCare Covington Clinic. “We want to thank our neighbors for their strong support throughout this approval process. Back in 1993, MultiCare was the first major health system to locate in Covington with our clinic. Now we’re excited to build on our long-term commitment to the community. This new medical center will allow us to provide the compassionate and comprehensive health care that people here demand and deserve.”

    The new MultiCare Covington Medical Center will be built adjacent to the MultiCare Covington Clinic and expand on the services offered at the campus at 17700 S.E. 272nd St.

    Plans for the MultiCare Covington Medical Center include:

    • Women’s & children’s health care center.
    • Childbirth services, the first in the community.
    • Expanded pediatric services, offering local access to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital services in Covington.
    • Surgical services, including robotic-assisted and minimally invasive surgeries.

    “This is a historic moment for the community,” said Diane Cecchettini, President and CEO of MultiCare. “This decision allows us to strengthen our partnership with the residents of Covington and South King County and connect them with our integrated system of patient care. We’re proud to be part of Covington’s bright future.”

    The new Medical Center will use the latest innovative design and construction techniques to reduce energy consumption. It will also make the most effective use of the existing clinic to minimize new construction. MultiCare also is preserving the grove of oak trees on the site and will design the new building to be environmentally sensitive.

    “MultiCare would like to thank the Washington State Department of Health’s Certificate of Need program for their thoughtful review of our application,” Kodama said. “We believe their decision was in the best interest of the community and we are eager to move forward to provide these needed health care services.”

    MultiCare broke ground in November in Covington on a 24,000-square-foot Emergency Department, scheduled to open in early 2012. The total cost of the new Medical Center, including the Emergency Department, is currently estimated at about $175 million.

    The new Emergency Department will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will include the full complement of emergency medical services for adults and children. It will cut in half the travel times for many South King County residents who need emergency care. Currently more than 15,000 patients per year are forced to seek emergency treatment as much as 30 minutes away from home. Early intervention at the new emergency room could save lives each year in the community. Given that the fastest-growing age group in the area is people who are 65 or older, MultiCare’s new emergency room answers a pressing community need.

    In addition to bringing the latest treatment technologies and the extensive resources of MultiCare closer to home, MultiCare Covington Medical Center will provide a number of economic benefits to the area. The medical center’s building phase alone will engender 550 new construction jobs. As the new medical center is staffed, the impact will continue to grow. Approximately 450 jobs will be created by 2015 and an additional 100 by 2018. Moreover the new positions will range from entry-level service jobs to highly skilled surgical positions.

    The Covington Medical Center will augment the MultiCare network of primary and specialty care clinics in Maple Valley, Kent and Auburn. Over the past 17 years, MultiCare has continued to invest in new services and technology in Covington, including oncology services, a sleep center, and advanced diagnostics to meet the needs of South King County’s growing population.

    The Covington Medical Center will be the fifth hospital in MultiCare’s integrated health system, which includes Tacoma General Hospital, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital & Health Center, Allenmore Hospital in Tacoma and Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup. MultiCare is the area’s largest provider of health care services, serving patients at more than 100 sites of care in Pierce, South King, Kitsap and Thurston counties.

    This award is the culmination of a yearlong process. MultiCare filed a Certificate of Need Application with the Washington State Department of Health on Dec. 23, 2009.

    Marce Edwards
    Phone: 253.403.1716

    Posted on Dec 21, 2010 in