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Groundbreaking set for new hospital

A new hospital in Enumclaw moves a step closer to reality Sept. 18 with a groundbreaking ceremony, to be followed by a series of free community events Sept. 20 celebrating the milestone occasion.

A new Enumclaw Regional Hospital, set to open in early 2010, will give the community an acute-care facility twice as large as the existing hospital.

“Our state-of-the-art replacement hospital will feature the newest technology and innovative design, ensuring that our community has access to advanced medicine and trusted care for generations,” said Dr. David Rice, radiologist and president of the medical staff at Enumclaw Regional Hospital.

Following the invitation-only groundbreaking ceremony, the hospital is sponsoring several free public events on Sept. 20 to celebrate the start of the new facility. These will include:

  • Senior Health and Wellness Expo from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Enumclaw Expo Center fieldhouse. This event is organized by the Enumclaw Senior Activity Center.

  • A health talk on raising “fit” children by best-selling author and speaker Joe Piscatella at 10:30 a.m. at the Enumclaw Public Library, 1700 First St. Call 1-888-825-3227 to reserve a seat.

  • Family swim from noon to 6 p.m. at the Enumclaw Aquatic Center (no reservations needed)

  • Movie - “Kung Fu Panda” - at 7 p.m. at the Chalet Theater, 1721 Wells St. Call 1-888-825-3227 for free tickets.

  • Concert by Bobby Medina and the Red Hot Band, 7:30 p.m. in the Enumclaw Expo Center fieldhouse. Call 1-888-825-3227 for free tickets.

    The new hospital, which will have 90,000 square feet of space, will be directly across Battersby Avenue from the existing facility. The estimated cost of the project is $65 million, which will be paid by Franciscan Health System and Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives. Enumclaw Regional Hospital, which opened in 1949, joined the Tacoma-based Franciscan organization in May 2007.

    The new hospital will offer all the services that the hospital now provides and include the newest medical and diagnostic imaging equipment. It will also feature: private patient rooms designed for the comfort of patients and visitors; eastside rooms with views of the foothills and westside rooms with views of the healing garden; newest medical technology; a rooftop helipad for emergency transports; a chapel for prayer and meditation; nearly triple the number of parking spaces; and plenty of space for additional and expanded services to meet the future needs of the community.

    The new hospital will also incorporate a number of ewnvironment-friendly “green” features, like sustainable building materials, non-toxic paint, energy-efficient mechanical and lighting systems, low-flush toilets and landscaping bioswales to capture and filter rainwater. As a result, the new Enumclaw Regional Hospital will be the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified hospital in Washington state.

    In addition to providing primary and acute medical care, the new hospital could serve as a community gathering place in times of windstorms, power outages and other emergencies. Once the new structure is completed, the old hospital will be torn down and a parking lot will be built on the site.

    In addition to Enumclaw Regional Hospital, the Franciscan Health System includes St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma; St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way; St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood; St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor (opening early 2009); and Franciscan Medical Group clinics in King, Pierce and Kitsap Counties. Enumclaw Medical Center is part of the Franciscan Medical Group.

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