A 2014 agreement with Providence Health & Services continues to pay dividends for Kadlec Regional Medical Center.
The affiliation with the Renton-based nonprofit health network has allowed Kadlec to move forward with a $72 million addition to its River Pavilion Tower, which opened in 2008, Kadlec CEO Rand Wortman said.
But that is just the beginning of the new projects in and around the Richland hospital, which employs about 3,030.
“The Providence affiliation has provided us with access to capital much more easily than we would have had as an independent hospital,” he said.
The four-story addition at the 270-bed hospital is expected to be done by fall 2016.
And construction starts this summer on a $13.5 million, five-story parking garage. Wortman said they are still deciding whether to put retail shops on the first floor.
“The question is, is it better to spend money to pay for retail, or is it better to pay for extra parking space?” he said.
Providence also is helping Kadlec with its family medicine residency program that begins this summer with six residents from the University of Washington. Wortman said similar programs would have caused an independent hospital to lose $2 million to $3 million in its first year.
Kadlec is working closely with regional schools. It announced in January that it was giving Washington State University Tri-Cities’ nursing program $18 million to hire more faculty.
Kadlec also is giving Columbia Basin College $3 million as part of a $16 million project to build a second four-story building on its Richland Health Sciences campus, between the Kadlec Healthplex and the hospital. It will provide space for CBC’s health care education program, as well as Kadlec’s residency program.
Kadlec still plans to work with developers in Richland’s Badger Mountain South area on an eventual 40-acre health care campus. Wortman said it is identifying possible services that could be built there, such as a primary care clinic and an assisted living home.
The hospital recently completed improvements to neighboring Marjorie Sutch Greenway, including landscaping and sprinklers. The city of Richland plans to put a walking path in the park.
“Basically, we wanted to make the campus more attractive, more pedestrian-friendly,” Wortman said. “Someplace where employees could go out and walk during lunch.”
And he said Kadlec is on the verge of telemedicine programs that will allow people in 15 rural communities to access medical care remotely.