South King County dignitaries gathered on the 6th floor of Valley Medical Center's new Emergency Department to celebrate the "topping off" -- the completion of the building's structure.
In late 2009 residents of South County will see the completion of the state-of-the-art seven story Emergency Services Department. The total square footage of the Valley Medical Center campus will grow to 1.6 million and includes critical upgrades to an ER that is expected to see 100,000 patients annually by 2010. The ED will feature an unheard of 56 private rooms – no longer open bays – that are interchangeable for emergent, urgent and trauma care to accommodate the desire of patients for privacy, and a Level III Trauma Center the size of a football field. The tower will also include a 30 bed critical care unit, disaster command center and state-of-the-art decontamination equipment, two floors of underground parking and room for expansion to accommodate regional growth for decades to come. Valley Medical Center's ED, one of the busiest on the West Coast, has been studied by Yale University and others for its success in door-to-balloon cardiac treatment recognizing the fastest time to treatment for cardiac patients in an Emergency Department located in South and East King County.
The completion of the ED marks the final phase of a three-phase expansion project begun in 2005. Phase I, completed in 2006, included the addition of a Birth Center with 36 new birth suites that look and act much like more like hotel rooms than hospital rooms, and a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to care for sick or premature infants, and set up so families can room together with their infants. Phase II, completed in mid-2007, included the expansion and renovation of the surgical wing, doubling the square footage to well over 62,000 square feet and adding 17 new operating rooms, ten high-tech surgery suites integrated with robotics, cameras, light sources, and the most advanced air and infection control systems.
Upon completion of phase III in 2009, 70 percent of Valley Medical Center's campus will be either new or renovated space that is able to support the community’s growing health needs well into the future.