PeaceHealth cuts its $70 million project

PeaceHealth@@[email protected]@ has cut the funding of a $70 million wing at the Sacred Heart Medical Center in the University District.@@[email protected]@ The hospital, which is the main emergency room for University students, plans to spend $12.4 million in renovations.

The cut, however, will not hurt University students who use the hospital, said Phil Farrington, director of Land Use Planning and Development of the Oregon region at PeaceHealth.@@[email protected]@

Some patients will be transferred to other wings in the hospital but will still receive the same level and amount of care. The hospital’s emergency room will remain fully operational and will not be affected by these changes. Farrington said the cuts may be a benefit to students.

“It really puts more specialists and subspecialists in reach of students,” Farrington said.

Building the new wing would cost around $70 million. The original plan to just renovate current wings, consolidate wings and eventually demolish the vacant wings would cost roughly $12.4 million. Farrington said that economically, the original plan makes more sense for the hospital.

Renovating certain wings of the University District has been in the plans of PeaceHealth for several years. Wings that have been looked at for renovations have been the nursing wing, the Oregon Rehabilitation Center wing, the Acute Care for Elders unit and the Johnson unit, which cares for mental and behavioral health.@@[email protected]@

The new plan goes back to the original plan to renovate the nursing wing, Farrington said. Peacehealth planned in the past to renovate the wings in the buildings that were built in the 1940s and 1960s. As time progressed, the idea of building a completely new wing to replace the old wings had materialized.

Some University students are happy to see this cut. University sophomore Amos Heifner@@[email protected]@ approves of cutting the $70 million.

“I like that students have more access to specialists,” Heifner said.

In the scope of financial decisions, tearing down vacant wings that are no longer in use and renovating current wings is cheaper, according to PeaceHealth’s form to state health regulators. Hospital officials said that not only does the cut save money but also allows the hospital to react to changes with how healthcare is provided.

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