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Hospital feasibility study to move forward

The study will help determine the future of health care in Crook County

by: CENTRAL OREGONIAN FILE PHOTO - Heidi Allen. M.D. fills out paperwork for her patients at Pioneer Memorial Hospital, while Carey Allen. M.D. (in the background) finishes up his charts.

The Pioneer Memorial Hospital and St. Charles Health System Board of Directors moved forward earlier this month with a feasibility study for a new medical facility in Prineville.
   The process to conduct a feasibility study to look at some viable options of building a community health center for the Prineville community began in August. The two boards began to review the study and St. Charles Health System brought a proposal, which was approved, before the Pioneer Memorial Hospital Board in early December to move forward on the next step of the process.
   Robert Gomes, FACHE, CEO of Pioneer Memorial Hospital and St. Charles in Redmond, previously commented that the feasibility study was based on the needs and population of the community, as well as the fact that the current facilities are aging.
    “What do we do next? Because we have to do something, and to continue to pour money into a 1950s building is not being very good stewards of our dollars,” he said in August.
   With the recent vote, the next step of the process has moved forward. The Pioneer Memorial Hospital Board of Directors voted just before Christmas to move forward with the next phase of the feasibility study.
   “The next concrete move is to look at where we would locate a new campus. That is kind of where they are moving forward now,” indicated Media and Strategic Communications Coordinator for St. Charles Health System Lisa Goodman. She added that the details of this next phase will remain confidential.
   “The Pioneer Memorial Hospital and St. Charles Health System boards have both agreed to move forward with the next phase of the feasibility study, which is to explore potential sites for a new campus,” said Gomes. “While certainly no final decisions or approvals have been made to construct a new facility, we’re pleased that the two boards have signaled their support for moving forward with this discovery process.”
   Chairman of the Pioneer Memorial Hospital Board Daniel Schuette said that the decision is positive news.
   “I am very excited about the possibility of a replacement facility, and at least between the two boards, have agreed to move forward,” said Schuette.