Asante launches historic plan to improve access to health care in Southern Oregon
Asante is embarking on its largest growth and development plan. A $1 billion investment in the community includes new construction and renovation projects that span two counties over a 10-year period.
The largest project in Asante’s Master Facility Plan is the expansion of Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. A 323,600-square foot patient pavilion will be built on the north side of the campus and be connected to the existing six-floor inpatient structure. Construction on the $420 million addition will begin in October with completion in early 2023. Expansion of the emergency department and another 79,000 square feet of renovations at the hospital are included in the cost.
The addition will make more space available for people needing emergency care, women’s and children’s services, heart care and surgery. “Access to critical health care services is a priority,” said Scott Kelly, Asante’s president and CEO. “Our Medford hospital receives patients requiring advanced health care services from a broad area, and is at capacity nearly every day. We need to have rooms available for the people who rely on us to take care of them; otherwise, we’d be doing the community a disservice.
“The demand for inpatient and outpatient health care services is growing as the population increases, especially among residents 65 years and older,” added Kelly. “As the local health system, we have an obligation to provide the latest facilities, technology and procedures to the people who live in the nine counties of Southern Oregon and Northern California that we serve.”
The expansion is just one way Asante is addressing the need for improved access to health care. Other significant projects include:
Behavioral health: Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center is expanding its inpatient behavioral health unit from 18 to 24 beds to address the growing need for acute mental health care. Construction of the $6.8 million project is scheduled to be completed in April 2020.
Emergency care: Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass is expanding and renovating its emergency department to accommodate the increased number of people seeking care. Treating more than 41,000 patients annually, the ED will add 11 beds for a total of 30, and double in size to 38,000 square feet. The $12.7 million project is expected to be completed in fall 2020.
Cancer care: A new regional cancer center will be built in Medford near the Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center campus. The nearly 80,000-square-foot building will house all outpatient cancer services for one-stop patient convenience including radiation therapy, infusion services, education and support services. The $64 million project began in February and is expected to be completed in late 2021 or early 2022.
Cancer care: The Spears Cancer Center on the campus of Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass will be expanded by 21,000 square feet with a new two-story building for a total of 32,000 square feet. Added to the center’s current radiation therapy will be infusion, lab and pharmacy services. The estimated cost of $12 million and construction is expected to be completed near the end of 2021.
Medical offices: Asante will build about 19,000 square feet of new medical office space in Jackson and Josephine counties. At each of the two locations will be an Asante Physician Partners family medicine practice and an urgent care clinic. A third, 90,000 to 100,000 square foot medical office building is planned for Medford in the future.
Over the next 10 years, Asante will spend approximately $1 billion on construction, renovation, deferred maintenance, planned replacement, equipment and information technology. “The economic impact of all the work and projects that Asante will complete in the next decade is nearly impossible to determine,” said Dennie Conrad, Asante senior vice president and chief strategy officer. “When you factor in revenue to communities from added jobs and wages, taxes, utilities, hotels, recreation and purchases, such as supplies, the financial impact will continue to grow for years to come. With funds staying local, the entire Southern Oregon community benefits.”
Another positive outcome of these projects is overall job growth in the Rogue Valley. “We anticipate adding an estimated 200 new positions throughout Asante, including doctors, nurses, X-ray techs, phlebotomists, housekeepers and everything in between,” said Robert Begg, Asante’s vice president of Human Resources. “We’re proactively partnering with higher education, technical institutions and other resources to recruit and train the best and to make sure we have the people in place when we open the doors.”
Funding for Asante’s Master Facility Plan projects will come from several sources, with the majority coming from capital funds — that is, funds Asante sets aside each year to reinvest in facilities and services that improve patient care. Another large portion will come from bonds, which are essentially loans made to Asante at a prevailing interest rate.
One of Asante’s most valued sources of funding for this expansion comes from community members. Asante Foundation is undertaking its largest campaign ever, called AsanteForward, with a goal to raise at least $50 million to help transform the quality and breadth of health care in our region. “Every important advancement in health care at Asante has happened because of our community,” said Andrea Reeder, Foundation campaign director. “Local people, businesses and organizations that support AsanteForward will have an immediate impact on the well-being of patients, elevating the health care experience for Southern Oregon — today and for generations to come.”
For information about the AsanteForward campaign, at (541) 789-2843 or go to asantefoundation.org/campaign or call Desirae MacGillivray Myers, Asante Foundation communications and marketing manager, at (541) 789-2843.