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Allenmore celebrates emergency department expansion milestone

Posted on Jun. 20, 2019 ( comments)

Signed by MultiCare Allenmore Hospital staffers and physicians, the last steel beam is bolted into place.

​MultiCare's $15M expansion of the Allenmore Emergency Department reached a project milestone last week when the last steel beam — signed by Allenmore staffers and physicians — was hoisted into place.

In the construction industry this is referred to as a "topping out" because it completes the structural phase of construction. As is tradition, the beam was topped with an evergreen tree and a flag. While this is a common celebration for the construction team, it was also an opportunity for the Allenmore staff and providers to express their excitement and well wishes for a safe and successful project.

Employees wrote dozens of notes on the 14-foot beam, many of them including which department they work in and how many years they've worked there. Here are a few of the inscriptions:

  • Allenmore All Stars
  • Build it and they will come
  • Allenmore has the best staff
  • Proud to call AH home
  • God bless Allenmore
  • It's about time!

Linda Conway, a chaplain at Allenmore, also wrote a blessing: "Bless this beam and the strength and shelter it will provide. Bless the vision, planning, skill and work of those who have created this opportunity for health and well-being."

"Our staff and physicians are incredibly excited about seeing this come to life. Some of them have been here over 20 years, so this has been a long time coming," says Alden Bishop, Allenmore campus administrator.

This construction milestone was an opportunity for staff to reflect on the time they've been at Allenmore and how much the facility and care teams have grown.

"In the current emergency department, they are working literally elbow to elbow," says Jody Obergfell, Allenmore chief nurse executive. "And in the new emergency department, the footprint of course is going to be much larger. It's going to allow them to move around."

Once completed, the new emergency department will enable staff to care for more than 40,000 patients a year — a 30 percent increase over the approximate 30,000 patients that the ER currently serves on an annual basis.

"This investment in our emergency department is a tangible reflection of our commitment to the community and just one of several new initiatives that we're working to further elevate the level of care at Allenmore," says Sharon Oxendale, president and COO of MultiCare Allenmore Hospital.

The new emergency department building is set for completion this fall. A second phase of project will begin immediately after to renovate the existing ER.

Howard S. Wright Construction and CBRE helped staff and providers be a part of this exciting construction milestone. Watch the video of employees signing the beam and the beam going into place.

Rock the Foundation 2019 benefits Allenmore Emergency Department

Save the date: Saturday, September 21, 2019.

Rock the Foundation is a high-energy fundraising event produced by MultiCare Health Foundation to support health and healing in our communities. This year, the event benefits emergency care at MultiCare Allenmore Hospital.

Registration opens in July. Visit

Posted in: Puget Sound | Tacoma

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