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Harrison lays out 2012 vision

The downward spiraling economy may be affecting Harrison Medical Center, but the nonprofit hospital continues to push forward with its $230 million renovation and expansion plan.

Harrison Medical Center Vice President of Strategy and Business Development Tom Kruse said the hospital is growing rapidly and the Silverdale and Bremerton campuses need to be renovated to keep up.

“More people are choosing Harrison today than they were yesterday,” he said.

Kruse has been making the rounds to tell hospital staff members about the upcoming Harrison makeover plans and he spoke with Bremerton personnel last week.

“They need to understand what’s coming,” he said.

Keeping up with Silverdale

Harrison Medical Center plans to build a second hospital at the Silverdale campus, joining the women and children center.

Kruse said with more people from Western Washington choosing to come to Harrison for care, the Silverdale location must expand.

“One of the realities of our market is we’re growing faster than we know what to do with it,” he said.

The new hospital will have intensive care and expanded orthopedic services as well as four to six operating rooms.

A new 34-bed emergency department, identical to the one in Bremerton, will be built in Silverdale.

“More people use the emergency departments or urgent cares than have primary care physicians,” Kruse said.

He said Harrison has the fourth busiest emergency department in the state.

The new Silverdale campus will get an additional 92 patient beds as well.

“We need to have more capacity,” Kruse said.

After the expansion, Silverdale will have 139 beds, compared to Bremerton’s 211 patient beds.

Kruse said, if everything goes as scheduled, Harrison plans to break ground in Silverdale in a year, with the new hospital opening in 2012.

The Silverdale campus expansion is expected to cost $180 million.

Cancer and cardiac care

Harrison plans to renovate the Bremerton campus to beef up its heart and cancer units.

Most of the first floor will focus on cardiac care. Kruse said Harrison has one of the best cardiac care units in the state and hopes the renovation will only better the department.

“It’s one of the best things we do here,” he said. “We think we can streamline it even further.”

The second floor of the Bremerton campus will be devoted to cancer care.

The renovations may force some of Harrison leaders, including President and CEO Scott Bosch, to move into another office, but Kruse said that’s not a problem because patient care comes first.

“Those of us that are nonessential to patient care are going to get out of the way,” he said. “This organization gets it.”

The aging plumbing and electrical also will be replaced in portions of the building.

Construction on the Bremerton campus is expected to begin next year and the new cardiac and cancer departments could open in 2010. The project is projected to cost $50 million.

Rocky road ahead

Kruse said Harrison has been hit hard by the economic downturn and the pending expansion plans may be put on hold if the money dries up.

“We may have to sit on our plans for a year or whatever,” he said. “Two days out of schedule can affect the cycle downstream.”

Harrison also plans to open a 24-hour Port Orchard urgent care in January and a 12-hour Belfair urgent care in April. Tentative plans for a cancer center in Poulsbo are still being discussed.

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