Press Release Archive

Press Release Archive

Harrison Celebrates Milestone in ER Project - 10/1/2003

A topping-off ceremony August 25 marked a milestone in Harrison Hospital's $13-million ER expansion and renovation project. Sellen Construction hoisted the final beam into place, completing the steel framework on the new addition.

In keeping with a centuries-old tradition, a ceremonial evergreen-and an American flag-were placed atop the beam, signed beforehand by workers. At this point, all paused in honor of their good-and safe-work.

"I like tradition," Harrison President/CEO Dave Gitch told the crowd that included some 75 skilled laborers and hospital staff. It's a time to reflect on the vital skills and teamwork you bring to ensure the successful completion of this project."

But the celebration represents more than a building, assured Gitch. "It's about the thousands in our community who will come here for comfort and care. In the meantime, may you all be blessed with good and safe work, today and in the months to come."

The newest chapter in Harrison's around-the-clock emergency services began last October for an expansive, state-of-the-art emergency room at the main hospital in East Bremerton. KMD Architects of Seattle, who also designed Harrison's Silverdale campus and Radiation Oncology Center, planned the 19,600-square-foot addition and 5,800-square-foot renovation. Seattle's Sellen Construction, also responsible for the Silverdale and Radiation Oncology projects, is general contractor.

The ER plan includes additional covered parking, 33 exam rooms, plus separate ambulance and walk-in entrances, providing optimal access to other hospital facilities for patients, staff, and public. According to hospital architect Ram Prasad, "We traveled to ERs across the nation to examine new ideas. I honestly believe our completed design represents the best of what we saw." Budget for the project is $13 million. The expansion is slated for completion at the end of December; renovation of the existing ER will begin then and be finished by spring.

The design addresses space efficiency in a variety of ways, beginning with a universal exam and treatment room that permits virtually any procedure or treatment to occur. Calm and comfort were also factored into the design. Rooms are private and large enough for family or friends. The realities of a post 9/11 world also shaped how the new emergency department will appear. A decontamination room-in the event of a chemical spill or toxic exposure-provides a separate isolation area. The new building will also speak to calm and comfort, with plentiful skylights, open space, soaring ceilings and a tranquil color palette, essential in a healing environment.

The enlarged space is part of an overall Emergency Department Improvement Project that began last year with an eye towards increasing patient satisfaction and shortening the amount of time patients spend in the ER. Streamlined processes-from registration to laboratory and X-ray-and a new fast-track system for patients with less critical conditions should bring positive results, say hospital leaders.

An attractive environment, privacy and respect, and efficiency all play a role in providing high quality patient care, says Emergency Services Director Louann Bean. "Our extensive improvements will enable us to provide even better care for our community-and in beautiful surroundings."

Harrison's ER and Urgent Care staff treat over 70,000 patients annually, making it one of the busiest emergency departments in the region. Some 34,000 of these patients are treated at the main hospital in East Bremerton, which serves the Olympic Peninsula region with Level III trauma services. Harrison Silverdale ER-also offering 24-hour care-serves 19,000 patients annually, while another 17,000 receive care at Harrison South Kitsap Urgent Care in Port Orchard.