Mid-Columbia Medical Center has announced that it has entered a joint venture partnership to construct a state-of-the-art medical building on The Dalles riverfront.
The three-story, 59,000-square-foot facility will be the anchor tenant for Lone Pine Village, the residential and commercial community being developed between I-84 and the Columbia River, just west of The Dalles Bridge.
MCMC will partner in the building, which is expected to open in late 2009, with Lone Pine Village and Integrity Structures, a Seattle contracting company whose CEO, Gabe Duus, is a native of The Dalles.
Existing and expanded MCMC programs will occupy the majority of the new facility. However, hospital president and CEO Duane Francis says MCMC will soon complete negotiations with another tenant that will occupy the third floor of the building and provide comprehensive medical and surgical services, many of which are not currently available in the Gorge.
MCMC programs that will relocate to the new building include the hospital's growing physical rehabilitation program. Now located in two sites, on the hospital campus and on Fourth Street in downtown The Dalles, MCMC's physical, occupational and speech therapy services can now be combined to expand and enhance the care of patients rehabilitating from a range of conditions, from sports injuries to hip replacements.
"Offering rehab services in two locations is not ideal," Francis says. "For example, patients rehabbing at one of our facilities may not have easy access to equipment that may be available at the other facility. At the Lone Pine site, we'll be able to combine all of our services, add new programs and equipment and make sure all of our rehabilitation patients are benefiting from the same breadth of care in one convenient setting."
The Lone Pine setting provides MCMC with the ideal opportunity to meet its patients' request for more convenient outpatient medical services. With parking at a premium on the hospital campus, the new building will offer easier access to rehabilitation and other patients whose conditions may present mobility challenges.
In addition to outpatient rehabilitation services, MCMC will relocate its busy, four-bed sleep center to the new facility to offer a non-threatening setting away from the hospital, where patients can spend a comfortable night while being evaluated for sleep disorders.
The building also will house MCMC's cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, medical symptom reduction and living healthy with diabetes programs. All of those programs incorporate MCMC's mind-body approach to patient care by combining traditional medical approaches with integrated therapies such as massage therapy, yoga and t'ai chi. The full complement of MCMC's movement programs and integrated therapies will be offered in the new building.
The Lone Pine venture also will better position the hospital in its ongoing efforts to expand access to internal medicine care. Space has been reserved in the new building for a comprehensive internal medicine practice that will house two providers currently practicing in The Dalles, and two others who will be recruited to the new space.
The building at Lone Pine represents MCMC's first new construction project since the completion of Celilo Cancer Center in early 2001. Francis says its location away from campus, in a unique and vibrant new neighborhood, is a good fit for MCMC's long-standing belief in the importance of caring for all aspects of a person's health.
"We believe in a broader definition of health that says wellness and optimal healing are best achieved when you address the complete spectrum of human health needs, including biological, emotional, environmental, intellectual and spiritual," Francis says. "This setting enables us to fulfill that mission in an innovative new setting that will help us promote healthy lifestyles and optimal healing."
MCMC's partners in the building also are pleased to be part of the hospital's innovative expansion into the new neighborhood.
"We're excited that Mid-Columbia Medical Center chose Lone Pine Village for location of its new outpatient facility," says Robert Gilham, developer of Lone Pine Village. "Not only will the building be our anchor tenant going forth, but our partnership with the hospital will give people living and working in our new waterfront community easy access to important medical and lifestyle services offered by a very progressive healthcare provider."
Building contractor Gabe Duus, a third-generation native of The Dalles, says he is proud to return home to be part of such a vibrant project. "I have such fond memories of growing up here, and I am delighted that I am able to play a role in securing the future healthcare of my hometown," he says.
With MCMC's inclusion in Lone Pine Village, the development certifies itself as a mixed-use community. Upon completion, Lone Pine Village residents will be able to walk to everything from cafés and shops to fishing holes.
Nearing the completion of its first phase of homes and town homes, Lone Pine Village will begin construction on the MCMC facility immediately. Simultaneously, construction will continue on more residential properties, mixed-use buildings and infrastructure for future phases, including a roundabout on Highway 197.