Donation gives hospital campaign shot in the arm

Enumclaw Regional Hopsital got a shot in the arm recently when the Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation presented leaders with a $600,000 check that will benefit the emergency room in the replacement hospital.

Step by step, the new Enumclaw Regional Hospital is taking shape. The multistory building looms large on Battersby Avenue between Cinkovich and Jensen streets as construction crews continue to work.

Hospital administrators and fundraisers took a moment Jan. 20 to admire the progress and celebrate the donation.

According to Foundation President Megan Farr, through the years the organization has been setting aside funds for a future hopsital. In May 2009, Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation and the Franciscan Foundation launched a $2 million fundraising campaign to help purchase equipment and amenities to enhance the hospital. ERHF dedicated $1 million to the project; half arrived in the form of a digital mammography unit in 2008 and the rest arrived recently in the form of a check to the capital campaign with the primary beneficiary the emergency department.

“That’s where we started and that’s where we wanted to go back to,” Farr said, explaining how the Foundation’s first major project was a match of community leaders Dwight and Doris Garrett’s donation for an emergency wing on the current hospital that was built in the early 1990s.

Including the $600,000 donation, the fundraising campaign is nearly halfway there with a little more than $923,000.

“All things considered in this current economic climate it’s going well,” Jon Flora, Franciscan Foundation President said of the effort to raise money. He said that current figure is thanks to good leadership, good partnership with the Healthcare Foundation and a good community. A community-wide fundraising event is planned for the future.

Hospital President Dennis Popp anticipates the hospital to be substantially complete by early December with an eight-week move-in process to follow. That would keep the project on schedule with the doors ready to swing open February 2011. Construction began in September 2008.

When complete the hospital, at 90,000 square feet, will nearly double the size of the current building across the street. It will include 25 private rooms, a helipad, 24-hour emergency care, dedicated space for diagnositc imaging, gastrointestinal and other state-of-the-art specialties, a chapel and medication area and space for future expanded services.

The facility, which will replace the current building which was originally established in 1949, is expected to cost $75 million, which is being paid for by Franciscan Health System, which ERH joined in May 2007, Catholic Heath Initiatives, the national organization Franciscan is affiliated.

Since its inception in 1982, the Foundation has raised more than $2.3 million to provide services, programs and equipment for Enumclaw Regional Hospital, area residents and organizations.

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