(Dallas, Ore. – June 27, 2023) – West Valley Hospital officially opened 19 new licensed beds today with a ribbon cutting ceremony at Salem Health’s critical access hospital in Dallas. The ceremony featured comments from Cheryl Nester Wolfe, president and CEO, Salem Health Hospitals and Clinics and Lane Shetterly, chairman, Board of Trustees, Salem Health Hospitals and Clinics, followed by a tour of the new unit.
West Valley Hospital operated six licensed beds before the expansion. The new beds are primarily focused on swing bed level of care, which is an agreement with the federal government under which a critical access hospital can use its beds, as needed, to provide either acute or skilled nursing facility care. Beds can “swing” from inpatient to rehab, allowing patients who need additional services to stay longer and safely discharge.
This addresses the hospital capacity issues over the past few years that have kept Oregon hospitals at and beyond 100% capacity. One cause of capacity challenges is the difficulty finding placement in long-term care or skilled nursing facilities for acute care patients ready for transfer to a different level of care. The West Valley Hospital expansion helps meet this need.
“Our job is to look to the future, and assess what healthcare needs each part of our community will face in the coming decades,” said Lane Shetterly, chairman, Board of Trustees, Salem Health Hospitals and Clinics. “That’s what led to this expansion. As our community grows and ages, we need additional hospital beds, and beds that can serve more than one purpose – acute care or rehabilitation. So we made an investment to expand West Valley Hospital, to meet the needs of today and tomorrow.”
Construction began in December 2022 for the $25 million investment in the facility. The expansion creates more than 80 new full-time equivalency positions with Salem Health in Dallas, including nursing, environmental services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, pharmacy, access services, care management and supply chain.
“Hospitals, when managed well, are bedrock institutions for the communities they serve,” said Cheryl Nester Wolfe, president and CEO, Salem Health Hospitals and Clinics. “They are a source of safety, healing and hope. They provide stable, well-paying jobs. They grow and change as the community they serve grows and changes. Ideally, they are a steady and lasting presence, a resource across generations, ready when they are needed.”
West Valley Hospital, which joined Salem Health Hospitals and Clinics in 2002, annually has 19,000 emergency department visits, 35,000 imaging cases, and 27,000 other outpatient visits including infusion, wound, rehabilitation, anti-coagulation and medication management.
Patients will be transferred and begin occupying the new beds on June 28, ready for full capacity of 25 patients. Half the patient rooms are double occupancy, and the other half are single occupancy. There is one bariatric room.
Construction continues around the West Valley Hospital campus with the remodel of 1050 SE Uglow Avenue in Dallas, to accommodate outpatient rehabilitation, anti-coagulation, wound care, infusion and medication management. The opening for this facility is slated for spring 2024.
About Salem Health Hospitals and Clinics
Salem Health offers exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. It comprises hospitals in Salem and Dallas, a medical group of primary and specialty care providers, plus other affiliated services. Visit us at www.salemhealth.org; “Like” us on www.facebook.com/salemhealth; follow us on Instagram and Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at www.youtube.com/salemhealth.