Health care notebook: St. Anthony expansion to benefit Gig Harbor patients

GIG HARBOR  – Gig Harbor and Olympic Peninsula residents are getting a larger hospital and more health care services. In early June, CHI Franciscan Health submitted a Certificate of Need (CON) application to the Washington State Department of Health to build out the unfinished fifth floor at St. Anthony Hospital.

“This is an exciting time for residents of the Olympic Peninsula and CHI Franciscan Health,” said David Schultz, market president for the peninsula region of CHI Franciscan. “Once St. Anthony reaches its full potential, we can better meet the needs of our patients. We will be able to decrease the time patients have to wait in our emergency department and avoid unnecessary transfers of patients across the Narrows Bridge.”

Since 2009, St. Anthony has experienced steady growth in hospital admissions often reaching maximum capacity. This has resulted in patients waiting in the emergency department before they can move to a hospital room. In some instances, patients are transferred to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma because St. Anthony’s hospital beds are full.

Finishing the 25,000 square feet of the fifth floor at St. Anthony will provide an additional 32 beds for patient care and grow the hospital to its full planned size of 112 beds. Building out the fifth floor is estimated to cost $15.6 million. CHI Franciscan submitted a Certificate of Need (CON) application in June 2016. With Department of Health approval, CHI Franciscan expects to open the fifth floor in 12 to 16 months, with the goal of caring for patients in early 2018.

It is anticipated that Gig Harbor and the surrounding communities will experience a 3 percent growth in population in the coming years. The expansion will help support the growth of the 65 and older population in Pierce County, which tends to be the highest users of medical services and require the longest lengths of stay in a hospital.

New women’s imaging services in Auburn

Women in Auburn and the surrounding communities who need a mammogram will now be able to experience the latest in state-of-the-art 3D technology at the Franciscan Medical Pavilion – Auburn. The imaging services include 3D screening mammography also known as digital breast tomosynthesis (or tomo) and bone densitometry (DEXA) scans.

— CHI Franciscan Health 

MultiCare opens new urgent care clinics with high-end feel

MultiCare Health System opened a new urgent care clinic in James Center Plaza in Tacoma on June 17. The first in a new line of urgent care clinics, the James Center clinic will bring together convenience and high-touch services to transform the health care experience for consumers in the Puget Sound region. The MultiCare Indigo Urgent Care locations will  provide  complimentary espresso, water, Wi-Fi service and charging stations, in addition to personal assistance upon  arrival.

Indigo Urgent Care clinics will be open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and provide care for many conditions to include allergies, cold and flu symptoms, earaches, fevers, minor burns or bruises, minor fractures or sprains, rash or poison ivy, sore throat, immunizations, skin complaints and urinary tract infections.

-— MultiCare Health System