June 8, 2022 – Jefferson Healthcare recently hosted a series of virtual meetings to share information and ideas about the new hospital modernization project and service expansion to meet the health needs of the community. The community is encouraged to watch and listen to a recording on the Jefferson Healthcare website as well as provide comments and feedback via online form submission.
The presentations outlined the initiatives of the project. First, replace and/or retrofit the buildings constructed in 1965 and 1988. These buildings were determined to be seismically unsound in a Tier 2 structural and seismic evaluation. The second initiative is to relocate and potentially expand critical infrastructure, including the OB/GYN clinic, Express Clinic, MRI Services, Surgery Pre-Op, Vascular Imaging, many critical support services, administration, and the Cafe.
Another key initiative could be to introduce new services to the community which are most frequently accessed outside of the county, such as Ear, nose & throat, Neurology, Pulmonology, Geriatric Specialty Services, Ambulatory Surgery Center, and new oncology space for a linear accelerator and radiation oncology. In the presentations, CEO, Mike Glenn explained the impact a project of this magnitude would have on operations while highlighting the projected health needs of the community over the next decade.
Over the last eight years, Jefferson County’s population increased by 5%, and Jefferson Healthcare’s adjusted patient days (a measurement used to calculate inpatient and outpatient volume) by nearly 100%. This growth for Jefferson Healthcare is not because of significant new disease in the community but rather Jefferson Healthcare’s focus on developing and providing specialty services to meet the health needs of the community. Jefferson Healthcare has become the predominant provider of primary/specialty/ surgical care, urgent and emergency care, hospice and home health care in eastern Jefferson County serving a population of over 31,000 residents.
The meetings did not address cost or final building plans. Mike Glenn explained that the project team would relay feedback to the progressive design-build team who will then provide initial renderings and costs with proposed services to share by mid -July through additional virtual community meetings. This information will decide funding sources for the project which would include Jefferson Healthcare cash reserves, Jefferson Healthcare Foundation contributions, Jefferson Healthcare debt capacity, State and Federal funding sources, and a possible bond measure in the fall.