MultiCare has announced plans to open a new “neighborhood” emergency room just outside Bremerton city limits on Highway 303.
According to a news release from the health care group, the new MultiCare ER will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and be staffed by board-certified emergency physicians. The 10,500-square-foot facility will have 10 patient rooms, four observation rooms and have X-ray, ultrasound and CT scan capabilities, the announcement said. The facility will operate under Tacoma General Hospital’s license, MultiCare said, noting that a groundbreaking will occur in spring 2023. A spokesperson for MultiCare said the group was looking at summer of 2024 for an opening date.
“There’s a critical need for more emergency medical services in Kitsap County,” said Mark Robinson, president of MultiCare Tacoma General and MultiCare Allenmore hospitals, in a statement. “Emergency departments across the Puget Sound are often at or near capacity. This new ED will give Kitsap County residents another option for emergency medical care.”
The facility will be located on property at the highway’s intersection with Fuson Road that MultiCare purchased in September for $1.8 million, according to Kitsap County property records.
The Bremerton facility will be the group’s sixth neighborhood emergency department, MultiCare said, noting that it opened facilities in Parkland and Bonney Lake in 2019, South Hill in 2020 and Federal Way in 2021. A new emergency department is under construction in Lacey and is scheduled to open in fall 2023.
In an interview with the Kitsap Sun, Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler said he began recruiting MultiCare to the community last year.
“I’m elated at this move, this decision by MultiCare to make this investment in our community,” he said. “We welcome it, we welcome another option, we know there’s need here. Our citizens have been asking, pleading for options.”
MultiCare currently has a limited presence in Kitsap in Poulsbo and Silverdale. Wheeler said that MultiCare has interest in expanding its footprint in Kitsap County and said he’s made it clear that the community would support an increased presence.
“I believe options will bring out the best in all of our health care providers here,” Wheeler said. “Their presence, I firmly believe, is going to raise that bar of quality health care in our community.”
Plans for the new facility come as the only emergency room in Kitsap County, at St. Michael Medical Center in Silverdale, has struggled during the pandemic. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health has also announced plans to open a new emergency room at a location on Kitsap Way in Bremerton. In August, the group said work on that facility, which will be a combined ER-urgent care, was slated to finish in spring 2023.