An historic agreement may be signed today in Lincoln City which, it is fervently hoped, will greatly elevate the convenience and effectiveness of medical care to all that walk through the hospital doors.
The plan has been to find a way to build a new hospital without asking the public to pay higher property taxes – a method that the Newport area took to fund their new hospital.
The plan is for the North Lincoln Health District, which owns the hospital and surrounding real estate, to turn over ownership to Samaritan Health, which operates the hospital, and let THEM build the new hospital.
Here’s how the two parties put the idea down in writing:
Samaritan President/CEO Larry Mullins said North Lincoln’s recently-completed facilities assessment made it clear that a new hospital was essential to ensure that local residents could continue to access vital health services in their community.
“We now have the opportunity to build a critical access hospital that reflects the most current thinking about which services are most needed and to organize them in a way that is most convenient for patients and optimally efficient for providers and staff,” Mullins said.
Toward that end, hospital Chief Operating Officer Lesley Ogden, M.D. has visited several recently-completed critical access hospitals to help inform planning for the new facility in Lincoln City.
“The hospitals I’ve visited are models of innovation and effective space planning,” Ogden said. “Spaces are designed for maximum flexibility and are focused on outpatient care and the appropriate integration of technology. We are very excited to begin planning for bringing these best practices to our local community.”
The North Lincoln Health District and Samaritan Health Services have agreed to work toward formalizing a new relationship that would result in Samaritan funding the construction of a new hospital in Lincoln City and the Health District transferring assets including the current hospital building and adjacent properties to Samaritan.
The two organizations, as well as Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital, have agreed to a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that provides a framework for the operational changes. The goal is to finalize the corresponding legal documents by year-end and then to complete construction of the new hospital over the following three years.
Health District Board Chair Terry Buggenhagen told News Lincoln County they’re meeting with Samaritan Health brass at the hospital to see if they can finally ink the deal and get on with building the new hospital.