SILVERDALE — The state Department of Health upheld its earlier decision approving CHI Franciscan’s certificate of need for expansion of Harrison Medical Center in Silverdale on Nov. 14.
That means Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton will close in 2020 as part of the medical center’s move to the expanded site in Silverdale.
The City of Bremerton had submitted one of three requests that health officials reconsider the Certificate of Need issued in May, based on CHI Franciscan’s diminished bond rating and and its financial feasibility based on 2016 data. The reconsideration hearing took place Sept. 8 in Bremerton.
Meanwhile, Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent — who has been working to keep acute care available in Kitsap’s largest city — said Nov. 15 there’s been interest expressed in buying Harrison Medical Center’s Cherry Avenue site.
“I’ve had a couple of conversations with one of the interested parties because they wanted to do some long-term care. They wanted to use some of the buildings, which are still in very good shape,” Lent said. “Last time I had a face-to-face conversation with [CHI Franciscan Peninsula Region President] David Schultz, he had said there are two interested parties in buying the land, so that they don’t have to demolish the entire thing. I do think there’s a possibility. I’m looking forward to something being done.”
Meanwhile, CHI Franciscan will also proceed with plans to open a 30,000-square-foot outpatient clinic, with primary care and urgent care services, in Bremerton, in 2018. The clinic will house CHI Franciscan’s Family Medicine Residency program, which will train qualified family medicine physicians.
The expansion of Harrison Silverdale, which began after the Certificate of Need was issued, is expected to cost $484 million. It will put all of Harrison’s doctors, nurses, surgeons, and specialists in one place, resulting — proponents say — in improved coordinated care for patients.
Harrison Medical Center is licensed for 347 beds. The Bremerton site has 253 inpatient beds, the Silverdale site has 94, of which 24 are for neonatal patients. All inpatient beds and services will be relocated from Bremerton to Silverdale.
Open heart surgery and elective PCI — percutaneous coronary intervention, a non-surgical procedure used to treat narrowing of the coronary arteries of the heart — will move from Bremerton to Silverdale.
The expanded Harrison Silverdale will feature private patient rooms with dedicated guest accommodations, service elevators that can better service critical care patients, and improved access to patients on all nursing units. The medical center will provide critical acute care services including heart care, a Level III trauma center, and an integrated cancer center.
Schultz said in an earlier story that Harrison Silverdale will “transform the way patients and families receive care, ensuring access to a premier facility close to home. We have heard from so many community members and believe our new facility in Silverdale and the new primary and urgent care center in Bremerton will successfully support the community’s needs.”
In a previously published story, Beau Bakken, chief of the North Mason Regional Fire Authority and Harrison Medical Center board member, said expansion of Harrison Medical Center in Silverdale “will ease the burden on first responders, provide an unprecedented level of coordinated and centralized care for our growing region, and save precious seconds in critical situations that will ultimately save lives.”
Fate of Harrison Bremerton
Harrison Bremerton is located on 7.31 acres at 2520 Cherry Ave. The hospital, built in 1964, is 261,462 square feet. The site is zoned “Employment Center.”
The intent of that zone is to provide opportunities for residents to live close to where they work, senior city planner Ryan Crater said. Allowable uses in that zone include general office and business services; finance, insurance and real estate; general retail; hotels and lodging; fitness clubs; and, of course, hospitals.
Harrison Medical Center began in 1911 as City of Bremerton Hospital; Benjamin Harrison — a local merchant, not the former president — was an early investor in the hospital, and his wife Anna volunteered there to care for people stricken during the flu epidemic of 1918. It became City General Hospital that year, was gifted to a community foundation in 1942 (it was initially gifted to the city, but that was prohibited by state law), and merged in 1956 with a surplussed government hospital purchased by a foundation of local residents.
When times were tough — the Depression, the war years — the community raised money to keep the hospital going. The community raised more than $600,000 for the current medical center on Cherry Avenue.
About CHI Franciscan
CHI Franciscan Health (www.chifranciscan.org) is a nonprofit health system based in Tacoma with $2.6 billion in net annual revenue. It has nearly 12,000 doctors, nurses and staff at eight acute care hospitals and approximately 200 primary and specialty care clinics in Pierce, King and Kitsap counties.