In 2014, the Kootenai Health Foundation began a capital campaign to help fund the Kootenai Health east expansion. Through campaign gifts, grants and fundraising events, the Foundation gifted the first of four donations of $2.5 million.
“The community continues to answer the call with resounding support,” said Kootenai Health Foundation Board Chairman, Mike Chapman.
Kootenai’s east expansion is scheduled to open in early March, providing much-needed space to grow the hospital’s most used service lines.
“This is another example of how our community is helping to ensure that our patients and their families have access to world-class health care in their own backyard,” Jon Ness, Kootenai Health CEO, said. “This is a hospital owned by the people who live here, and together with the Foundation we will be able to provide exceptional care, here at home, now and into the future.”
Since breaking ground on the three-story expansion in August 2014 the exterior has transformed dramatically. The new building, totaling 100,000 square feet, will provide more space to care for growing patient needs and free up space in the existing facility for future expansion and renovations.
The first two floors of the expansion include a family birth center, neonatal intensive care unit, 32 private patient rooms for orthopedics and neurology, a new hospital entrance and registration area, and expanded visitor waiting areas. This is a 10 percent increase in patient rooms. The third floor will remain unfinished during the initial phase of the project.
“The Foundation’s capital campaign has reached 77 percent of its initial fundraising goal and we look forward to the next several months as the expansion opens for patients,” Chapman said. “We are excited to share this beautifully designed, state-of-the art building with our community, and excited that we are helping Kootenai Health realize it’s goal of becoming an outstanding regional medical center.”
Several community and staff events are scheduled to celebrate a successful grand opening. Even though the project is wrapping up, other projects are already in the works for the existing facility, including expanding the operating rooms and the emergency department.
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Photo: Jon Ness, Kootenai Health CEO, and the Kootenai Health Board of Directors (l-r): Chris Meyer, Director; Peter Wagstaff, Vice-Chair; Russ Porter, Director; Linda Fournier, Past-Chair; Mike Chapman, Chair; Shawn Bassham, President; Steve Griffits, Treasurer; Georgianne Jessen, Secretary. Not pictured: Eve Knudtsen, Director.