Washington hospital staff say $45M expansion is vital

Pullman (Wash.) Regional Hospital staff said a $45 million expansion is necessary to maintain the emergency department and other essential services, according to a July 28 report from the Lewiston Tribune

The project funding would partially come from a $27.5 million bond commissioners approved for the November ballot. It would include expanding the emergency department by up to 60 percent, bringing more central campus and specialty services and providing more space for a sleep study and labs.

The number of patients visiting the hospital's emergency room has grown from 7,000 a year in 2004 to 12,676 in 2021, orthopedic surgeon Ed Tingstad, MD, told the publication, adding: "We're just asking for nuts and bolts. Just places for [nurses and staff] to change their clothes and place a locker and let a doctor work in the emergency room."

Hospital staff increased from 200 personnel in 2004 to about 600 today, some of whom are in rented spaces, hospital CEO Scott Adams told the publication. 

Dr. Tingstad said the addition of specialty clinics in the proposed expansion aims to reduce the hospital's reliance on referral centers in other cities that haven't been available for its patients during the pandemic.

"We realized we had to be able to care for our own," he told the publication.

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