Sacred Heart Planning $175M Expansion

SPOKANE — In just five years Sacred Heart Medical Center plans to be the largest hospital in Washington as administrators announced plans for a major expansion to handle the growing number of patients the hospital sees.

There isn’t a whole lot of room at Sacred Heart for expansion so the $175 Million plan calls for the hospital to grow up instead of out.

“By 10 a.m. we probably had 590 patients in house. We have 623 beds,” Sacred Heart president Michael Wilson said Thursday, adding this is how crowded the hospital is most weekdays.

“Particularly during the weekdays, when hospital services are at the greatest demand, we find ourselves at above 85-percent occupancy all the time,” he said.

So Sacred Heart’s leaders decided back in April of 2007 that it was time to look ahead to the future. By mid-2009 the hospital plans on spending $175 Million to add four floors to the woman’s center, two floors for the emergency department, a cancer center and a large office building. 

Despite knowing what it wants to do and how much it will cost, the hospital expansion is still in the design phase. 

“Our mission, which has been to focus on everyone, especially the poor, it makes it difficult for us if we’re full to achieve that mission,” Wilson said.

Once the expansion is completed, Sacred Heart would become the largest hospital in Washington in terms of rooms and for staff. The hospital says this project will help the local economy with construction and medical jobs but more importantly it will help patients who need care.

The project still needs state approval and if all goes according to plan, work would begin in mid-2009 and take five years to complete.