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SLIDESHOW: Hospital hosts two ceremonies

Photos courtesy Franciscan Health Systems

Opening New Doors to Health and Healing was the tag for Friday and Saturday’s ceremonies to open St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw.

From the ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday night to Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of the Archdiocese of Seattle’s blessing Saturday, it was the final step before the facility opens its doors for service Feb. 2.

“It’s an exciting day for the community to build on a legacy of caring,” said Dennis Popp, who serves as president for Enumclaw Regional Hospital and soon St. Elizabeth Hospital.

Nearly 350 Plateau dignitaries and donors toured the 94,000-square-feet, three-floor facility Friday evening and more than 1,000 community members were present for Saturday’s blessing and open house.

An updated hospital has been a community wish for some time. It became a reality when Franciscan Health System took over in 2007.

Popp said the 25-bed, critical access hospital will continue its mission to provide healthy communities and distinguish itself as a healing environment for generations.

The Plateau community built Enumclaw Community Memorial Hospital in 1949 and this latest version, named St. Elizabeth, was no different. Groundbreaking began in 2008. Officials gave a nod to Mahlum Architects and Sellen Construction for the completion of the $75 million “green” facility which features sustainable building materials and energy-efficient systems.

“Through the worst recession we’ve been able to fund this facility,” Franciscan Health System Chief Executive Officer Joe Wilczek told those gathered Friday.

Co-chairs of the community fundraising effort to raise $2 million, Roy Brooks, chair of the Franciscan Health System board of directors and St. Elizabeth Hospital board of directors, and Megan Farr, former Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation president, said they will keep the doors open for donations through June. The group is $350,000 shy of its goal, but optimistic it will be reached.

St. Elizabeth will employ 270 people and offer 24-hour emergency department with a rooftop helipad, inpatient care in all-private rooms, diagnostic imaging, inpatient surgery, outpatient surgery, endoscopy services, birth center, cardiopulmonary care, phsyical therapy, laboratory services and dietary services.

“There were a lot of nonbelievers a few years back, look where we are now,” said Dr. Jude Verzosa, president of the medical staff at Enumclaw Regional Hospital/St. Elizabeth Hospital. He said the medical staff is grateful and with the state-of-the-art St. Elizabeth Hospital facility and its ties to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma and the other hospitals in the Franciscan family, they will be able to provide the best in patient care.

Fun Facts box

• 1,192,444 pounds (596 tons) of structural steel

• 876,000 feet (166 miles) of electrical wire

• 46,000 fee (8 3/4 miles) of pipe

• 476 exterior windows

• 37,876 cubic yards (approximately 800 truck and trailer loads) of unsuitable dirt excavated and exported off site

• 21,164 cubic yards (approximately 440 truck and trailer loads) of structural fill imported.

• 440,000 pounds (220 tons) of rebar replaced

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