Crews will begin work at Swedish hospital site Monday
August 12, 2009
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 3:25 p.m. Aug. 12, 2009
Crews will begin excavation work at the Swedish Medical Center hospital campus Monday, hospital executives said today. Plans call for a medical office building, outpatient care center and — eventually — hospital beds on 18 acres in the Issaquah Highlands.
During the first phase of construction, crews will build the office building and outpatient center. Hospital executives said the initial phase would open in summer 2011. A second phase — with 80 hospital beds — is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2012. The second phase will eventually expand to 175 beds.
“People are anxious to have the care close to home,” said Kevin Brown, a Swedish Medical Center senior vice president leading the Issaquah expansion.
The planned campus — at the southwestern corner of Highlands Drive Northeast and Ninth Avenue Northeast — will offer inpatient and outpatient services, including oncology, cardiac care, obstetrics, pediatrics and neurosciences and intensive care.
A ceremonial groundbreaking for hospital executives, physicians, donors and city leaders is scheduled for Oct. 12.
Brown said design work on the planned campus would continue through the end of the year.
Emergency services will be offered at the new hospital and the existing standalone Swedish Medical Center emergency room along Southwest Sammamish Road.
Dr. John Milne, medical director for strategic development and a physician at the Issaquah ER, said the hospital would offer emergency services at both locations. Milne said physicians and staffers at both locations would work closely to coordinate patient care.
The hospital has a 20-year lease on the existing ER space.
Milne also serves on the city Urban Villages Development Commission, which oversees projects related to the highlands and Talus.
Brown touted the hospital project as a way to jumpstart development in the highlands. He noted how a hospital is “typically a great economic stimulus to an area.”
The project is “moving along very well,” Brown said. “We’re very excited about it.”