Hospital to operate under new name

When Enumclaw’s replacement hospital opens in February, it will feature a new name to go along with a state-of-the-art healing environment.

The Enumclaw Regional Hospital board of directors recently authorized a name change to St. Elizabeth Hospital when the new facility opens. The change is being announced this week.

Franciscan Health System officials also delivered good news this week with regard to the construction schedule. The hospital has reached 80 percent completion and is scheduled to open on schedule, Feb. 2.

“Our community’s replacement hospital signals a new era for health care on the Plateau,” said Dennis Popp, president of Enumclaw Regional Hospital.

“For more than 60 years, Enumclaw Regional Hospital has proudly served this community,” Popp added. “That legacy of service will continue in our new facility for generations to come.”

A new name

Popp noted that the current Enumclaw hospital has changed its name twice since opening in 1949 as Community Memorial Hospital. In 1999, the hospital changed its name to Enumclaw Community Hospital. The name was changed again in 2006 to Enumclaw Regional Hospital. The hospital will retain the name of Enumclaw Regional Hospital until the new facility opens in February.

Both Popp and Roy Brooks, an Enumclaw resident who serves as president of the board of directors for both the local hospital and Franciscan Health System, said the change fits with the rest of the Franciscan family.

“We believe our new name, which mirrors the name style of our other hospitals in Tacoma, Federal Way, Lakewood and Gig Harbor, will help our local community better understand our connection to the rest of our Franciscan services,” Popp said.

The namesake is St. Elizabeth of Hungary, the Catholic patron saint of nurses, hospitals and charities. The Enumclaw Regional Hospital board of directors recently approved the new hospital’s name.

Enumclaw Regional Hospital joined the Franciscan Health System in May 2007. Construction of the replacement hospital began in 2008.

A public open house celebrating the new hospital is planned for Jan. 15. The hospital will begin serving patients on Feb. 2.

A fundraising campaign to help purchase select medical equipment, artwork and amenities that could not otherwise be included in the facility has generated $1.5 million of its $2 million goal. The campaign is a partnership between the Franciscan Foundation and the Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation, and gifts to the new hospital can be made to either organization. To learn more or make a donation, contact Jackie Madill at 253-740-9558.

The existing Enumclaw hospital building will be memorialized and eventually removed after St. Elizabeth Hospital opens. Following careful study, Franciscan officials determined that preserving the aging structure and retrofitting it to accommodate the needs of a modern medical facility were not financially feasible.

St. Elizabeth Hospital’s primary service area will encompass Enumclaw, Bonney Lake, Black Diamond, Buckley, the Auburn Plateau, Wilkeson and other communities. That area has a population of about 125,000 people and is projected to reach nearly 137,000 residents by the year 2013.

Franciscan Health System is affiliated with Catholic Health Initiatives, a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Denver. The faith-based system operates in 18 states and includes 73 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted- and residential-living facilities; and two community health-services organizations.

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