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CMH plans major expansion

Board of Trustees approves plan to improve and expand hospital campus in Astoria

February 3, 2023

ASTORIA, Ore. —The Columbia Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees is excited to announce the hospital’s plans for a major expansion and renovation.

The new facility will be a center for health and wellness, while also providing a resilient structure that can serve as a safe harbor for the community in case of a natural disaster like an earthquake or tsunami.

“Our current facility is over 45 years old and has served us well,” says Erik Thorsen, CEO. “However, in the last decade, CMH and OHSU have launched many new service lines, and we have simply run out of space to grow into. This expansion of the CMH campus will allow us to broaden the scope of our services and ensure state-of-the-art care throughout the organization. The new facility will be designed in a manner consistent with our Planetree philosophy of person-centered care and will include new equipment, diagnostic services and specialties often found only in larger institutions.”

CMH engaged ZGF Architects to design the new facility, and Skanska Construction will be the general contractor. Over the past 18 months, the project team completed significant due diligence and planning. The schematic design phase recently concluded and involved caregivers and leaders from across the hospital determining where services should be located, how much space was needed, and how to best serve patients’ and departments’ needs.

The planned design includes total new construction of approximately 180,000 square feet and a critically needed expansion of the CMH Emergency Department. Other expanded areas include operating rooms, patient rooms, laboratory, radiology services, a new chapel and dining facilities.

CMH will share more specific details on the project with the community as the plans are developed. “Patient and community input is very important to us,” Thorsen adds. “We will work closely with our Patient Family Advisory Council on the detail design elements, and we plan to hold several community open houses over the course of the project.”

“This expansion project is one of the final parts of the Board’s long-term strategic plan that began in 2010 and has included the partnership with OHSU, the acquisition of John Warren Field, and the opening of the CMH-OHSU Knight Cancer Collaborative,” says Dr. Robert Holland, president of the Board. “This new, modern hospital facility will continue to allow our community to seek the best care locally for generations to come.”

The expansion will be built on the current hospital campus off Exchange Street in Astoria, with phased construction to allow a continuation of services. As the planning process continues, CMH will be sharing additional renderings, hosting town halls, and seeking stakeholder input.

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