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Board considers moving hospital
Snoqualmie Valley Hospital needs to expand and possibly move if it wants to stay competitive, consultants from San Diego-based ECG Management Consultants and Seattle-based Salmon Bay Design Group told commissioners at last week's regular board meeting.
Commissioners for King County Public Hospital District No. 4 listened Thursday as Darin Libby, of ECG, and James Grafton, of Salmon Bay, powered up slide shows and offered their recommendations about new strategies, and new locations, for the hospital.
While Snoqualmie Valley Hospital sits on a 48-acre parcel, expansion on the current site is discouraged by the steep, wooded and secluded location with its streams and wetlands. There are attractive vistas looking out, but virtually no visibility in. It's hard for passing drivers to tell a hospital is there.
"Healthcare is really competitive now," Grafton said. "In the past, it was less important that a hospital was visible. At the same time, this hospital was more visible than it is now because the highway was very close."
The construction of the Interstate 90 bypass built around the city of North Bend in the 1970s cut off the hospital from easy highway access. Emergency response through North Bend takes nine minutes, and Snoqualmie Pass ambulances generally travel down to the Highway 18 interchange and double back east to get to the hospital.
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