New Harrison Orthopaedic Center opens with tours and fanfare

Visitors examine tools used in hip and knee replacements. - Leslie Kelly
Visitors examine tools used in hip and knee replacements.
— image credit: Leslie Kelly

For Ella Samuelson of Silverdale, Friday was kind of like a dress rehearsal.

Samuelson, in her 80s, and her husband, W. Bruce Samuelson, were among those who got to take a first-look at The Orthopaedic Center at Harrison Medical Center last Friday during a public open house.

“I’m going to be here in January for a knee replacement,” said Samuelson. “And I just wanted to see what the place is like.”

Samuelson got the grand tour, just as did more than 500 people, said Jacquie Goodwill, director of marketing and communications for Harrison. Another 500 VIP guests toured the center Friday evening during a wine reception.

As Samuelson told, she was suppose to have her surgery last year, but another medical need had to come first.

“I’m glad I had to put it off,” she said. “Because now I get to have it in this brand new place.”

Indeed she will. The center is a state-of-the-art surgical center where all orthopedic needs will be cared for. Among the surgeries that will be offered are knee and hip replacements, spinal surgeries, shoulder repair and replacements, hand surgeries including carpal tunnel and care for broken bones.

Teams of more than 100 orthopedic specialists from surgeons, nurses, and rehabilitation therapists will work using the latest technology to diagnose and treat patients, according to the hospital’s website.

The $29 million facil

ity is an expansion of Harrison’s Myhre Road campus. Bremerton architectural firm Rice Fergus Miller designed the building and it meets the standards of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for green building practices. Construction of the 54,000 square foot building began in May 2012.

The center includes 16 pre- and post- op rooms, four operating rooms, 24 spacious private patient rooms, a large rehab gymnasium and a rooftop outdoor rehab trail where recovering patients can practice practical things like steps, and walking on uneven exterior surfaces, gravel, brick and tile.

The patient rooms were designed to have extra space for a caregiver or family member to stay over with the patient. And many have mountain views.

A third floor remains unoccupied, but ready for expansion in the future.

One of the highlights is a beautiful piece of glass and steel artwork in the main lobby made by Lisa Stirrett, a local glass artist. Some pieces of it are actual replacement parts used in joint replacement surgeries and visitors are welcome to touch it, feeling what a new joint feels like.

Jim McKenna and his wife, Cindy, came to see the center to see where their daughter, Brea Lundsford, is going to be working.

“She’s transferring over here from the fourth floor of the main hospital,” McKenna said. “It’s a beautiful place. I’m hoping I won’t need to be here for anything anytime soon. But if I do need it this would be where I’d want to go.”

As visitors peeked in the various operating rooms, they were told that the first actual surgeries would be Monday morning at 7:15 a.m.

“Patients will arrive here at 5:15 a.m.,” said a nurse leading a tour. “We plan to have a trial run on Sunday, just to make sure that we have everything where it needs to be.”

Among the first surgeries were a hip replacement and a shoulder surgery. Also on the first’s days list was a knee replacement and carpal tunnel surgery. In all, seven surgeries were completed. As many as 2,600 surgeries will be performed in 2014, hospital officials said.

Harrison Medical Center CEO Scott Bosch wandered among the visitors saying “Hello” and meeting prospective patients.

“Everyone’s just thrilled,” Bosch said after being asked about responses. “They’re saying it’s just awesome. It’s fabulous.”

Bosch said the center had been in the making for a long time and being able to show it off was really rewarding.

“What’s most rewarding is that all this was designed by our physicians and our staff,” Bosch said. “They played a big part in the design because they are the ones who will be working here and they know what’s going to work best for them and for the patients.”

Veronica Barragan, and her husband, Omar, and his mother, Maria Guerra, came to see the center on Friday because they were “just curious.”

“Omar is a cook here at the hospital and his mother works in housekeeping,” Barragan said. “We wanted to see the new center and see what it offered.”

Although Barragan, who works at Walmart, isn’t planning on having to have any joint surgery soon, she said she was impressed with the center.

“It’s awesome,” she said. “It’s spacious and the technology - I’ve never seen so many computers. Thank God I don’t need surgery, but if I ever do, I won’t have to go to Seattle. I’ll come here.”

Likewise for Lois Mortar, a hospital volunteer who escorted visitors around the center.

“I guess I’ve come full circle,” she said, noting that she was an OB nurse at Harrison in Bremerton for years.

She’s now been a volunteer for the past 16 years.

“It’s just gorgeous,” she said. “If I ever have to have a new knee or hip, I’ll have no fear to come here.”


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