Improving access and meeting community need

Jefferson Healthcare, in Port Townsend, Washington, begins a much-anticipated Campus Modernization Project in the summer of 2023 which will include new and larger medical office space for Oncology, Dermatology, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Wound Clinic, Express Clinic, and an updated cafeteria in addition to space to introduce new specialty services to meet growing community needs.  New service lines will include a linear accelerator for radiation oncology, ear, nose and throat, neurology, pulmonology, geriatrics, and operating rooms designed specifically for outpatient procedures.

The new building will replace the existing 1965 Building, which has served a variety of purposes since it was built in 1965 including medical short stay, primary care offices, and most recently, administrative offices and human resources. New construction will also provide an updated and modern cafeteria/kitchen to allow Chef Stark to continue to delight staff and community with his culinary skills.

The growth of Jefferson Healthcare over the last eight years has increased substantially as Jefferson Healthcare has developed more specialty services to provide care locally. Their ongoing commitment to keeping high-quality care local has increased daily visits to the hospital and clinics from 300 to 625 between 2014 and 2021.  Jefferson Healthcare funded and completed a new building in 2015, the Emergency and Specialty Services Building (ESSB), to accommodate expanded space for Orthopedics, Oncology, Wound Care, Dermatology, and Emergency Department and quickly outgrew the space with patient volumes. The ESSB cost Jefferson Healthcare $29 million and continues to be funded from operations without additional taxpayer support.

Throughout 2022, Jefferson Healthcare leadership worked with a design-build team to create a plan to meet community needs and be fiscally responsible as a public hospital district.  In September of 2022, the Hospital Board of Commissioners decided on a non-bond support project that would provide over 50,000 square feet of new medical office space including extra room for growth.  The project will be funded through a combination of cash on hand, debt, and federal and state funding and ultimately paid for by revenue generated by the new and expanded services.

The project will be funded through a combination of cash on hand, debt, and federal and state funding and ultimately paid for by revenue generated by the new and expanded services.

Jefferson Healthcare continuously pursues federal and state funding streams to support many initiatives outlined in the new building project that will directly benefit the community. In December of 2022, Jefferson Healthcare received a federal appropriation of $2.5 million for the Jefferson Cancer Treatment Project, supported by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington). The appropriation supports the ability to provide radiation cancer treatment and specifically the purchase of a linear accelerator that would allow Jefferson Healthcare to offer radiation treatment to patients in the community.

Currently, residents in our community and their families must travel significant distances for very brief visits to receive radiation treatment. These visits can take more than 2-3 hours round trip as patients must drive into neighboring counties, often across the Hood Canal Bridge, and back. Jefferson Healthcare anticipates that over 200 patients a year will benefit from this treatment option, saving thousands of hours of driving and an untold burden on themselves and their families and caregivers. Incorporating radiation treatment into the rest of the oncology care will also support a more integrated care experience, allowing for higher quality and more seamless experience for patients. Jefferson Healthcare is deeply grateful to Senator Cantwell for her support and looks forward to moving this project forward.

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