Klickitat Valley Health (KVH) began planning for an expansion project in 2015 that will now come before voters in a special election on April 25.
On February 22, the KVH Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to add 15 long-term care beds, build 10 short-stay hospital beds, and expand surgical services through a $19.3 million-dollar general obligation bond.
“We have demonstrated, I believe, tremendous accountability in how we have taken care of our facility that is now 74 years old,” said Leslie Hiebert, CEO of Klickitat Valley Health. “This new expansion will accommodate the needs of our community now and in the future and allow KVH to provide essential community healthcare as the sole medical facility in eastern Klickitat County.”
The original hospital short-term stay (hospital inpatient) wing, constructed in 1949, will be repurposed to create 15 long-term care beds if the bond is approved. Construction of 10 new short-term hospital beds offering up-to-date rooms for patients with space for families to be with their loved ones and expanded surgery that will provide more local services and updated facilities that facilitate quality, modern standards of care will be funded through this community investment.
“We are proudly a public hospital. KVH has deliberately chosen to provide care and services that are tailored to meet the unique needs of our community,” added Hiebert.
“In today’s world of healthcare, you just can’t stay the way you are. We know we need to move forward to provide facilities that support the current needs of our community and allow us to expand healthcare services so they are available locally,” said Crystal Scott, board president.
The community investment in expanded facilities and services will be repaid through annual property taxes at an estimated rate of 79 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.
“In December of last year we had a record 589 visits to our Emergency Services department. In 2022, our clinics had 35,149 combined visits, and we provided care to 8,000 unique patients,” said Erin Wooley, Chief Nursing Officer. “As access to services outside of our community becomes more limited, we are providing more of the care our community so desperately needs. Supporting local healthcare has a tangible, meaningful impact on the quality of life in our community. To keep our community safe and allow it to thrive, we need to continue to maintain and expand our local healthcare at KVH.”