BEND, OR -- Construction of a new patient tower at St. Charles Medical Center Bend is nearly complete. The new addition is designed to increase the ability to care for the critically ill. Project sponsor and Critical Care Director Selena Smith says the hospital desperately needs the space for patients who aren't quite sick enough to be in the ICU, and not well enough to do without specialized care. "Right now, our capacity is pretty much maxed out on a daily basis and patients go throughout the hospital and still receive excellent care, but it's kind of, 'Okay, where are they going to fit today?', whereas now we'll have that capacity to fit them in the right place." She tells KBND News they only have 18 Intensive Care Unit beds, now, "So what this gets us is a 24-bed ICU, and we're also going to be opening a 28-bed Progressive Care unit, which is going to be a step-down unit; and that is a unit that is in between ICU and the medical floor."
St. Charles Tower Project Gets Funding Boost (02/22/19)
Smith says it's an important project as Central Oregon's population continues to grow, "With the new tower, we do have the lower level that has a space that we haven't determined what needs to go in there. So, we do have opportunity if we needed to grow, to go into that space. When we open up, we are probably going to be at 50% capacity." She says all the nurses and providers have been hired and are in training. The Tower project is expected to open to new patients on May 19.