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BEND, OR -- St. Charles will allow the public to walk through the new patient tower at the Bend hospital, Wednesday evening, 10 days before it opens. The health system began planning the $66 million project several years ago; it was primarily funded by bonds. Construction of the building began last spring

Lisa Goodman, with St. Charles, says the new 24-bed Intensive Care Unit and 28-bed Progressive Care Unit, just upstairs, were designed by patients and caregivers, "Because they’re really the experts at what they do. So, we really look to our front-line caregivers to explain to us, what do they need to make their work environment/environment of care flow better, be more efficient, be safer? And so, we took all that input and it’s reflected in the design of this building." She tells KBND News, "The rooms are larger, the equipment is positioned differently to allow them more space to do their job; it also gives our patients and their families more room to maneuver." Features include digital patient name-plates and cabinets – made in Redmond – that allow supplies for a room to be stocked from the hall, without disrupting the patient. Goodman says there's also more natural light, in response to patient and staff feedback. 


Wednesday's sneak peek celebration starts at 4 p.m.; tours begin at 4:30. "We’re so pleased to be able to let the community come in and see what they helped design, what they helped fund and what’s going to serve them and their family and their neighbors for many years to come," says Goodman, "It really is bridging St. Charles Health System and our community to the next several decades of care. We’ve been struggling with capacity issues at the Bend hospital for a number of years now. So, this is really going to give us the ability to serve the community and not have to send patients out for care, to Portland."


On Monday, St. Charles and Bend Fire used the empty tower to practice evacuating patients and responding to a fire emergency. 

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