BEND, OR -- St. Charles Medical Center announced Monday plans for a new facility that will allow the Bend hospital to serve more critically ill patients. The $66 million project will double the number of ICU beds and add more parking.
Bob Gomes, President of St. Charles Bend, tells KBND News the project has been in the works for years. "The project is going to be a five-story patient tower. Basically, Bend is growing, the services we provide are growing and we've just reached our capacity; so it's time to add more beds to take care of the patients here in Central Oregon." He adds, "Our permanent critical care capabilities are undersized. What we're going to be doing initially is adding 18 more critical care beds, so we'll have a total of 36 ICU beds for Central Oregon. The parking, as most people know in Bend, at the hospital here is an issue. So, we're going to add 500 parking spaces, hopefully by this fall." The project also includes a second waterline for the hospital.
Work on the waterline and construction of the larger parking lot will start this summer, and are expected to wrap up by fall. Construction on the new tower is slated to begin in the spring of 2017 and should take about a year to complete. Gomes says, "It will increase our staffing, as we continue to keep patients here. We've already shipped 200 patients over the mountains, this year alone, just because of capacity. And, we'll be keeping those patients here, so that'll increase the number of people we have taking care of patients, not only for nurses but also for physicians."