Story last updated at 5/29/2013 - 2:07 pm
On May 21, Gov. Sean Parnell signed the Fiscal Year 2014 budget into law. Funding for the first and largest phase of the PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center Addition and Alteration project is in that budget.
Coming in at 14 percent under last year's budget, this year's budget includes only those priority projects that "grow our economy and strengthen our families - for Alaskans today and tomorrow," Parnell states on his website.
In the Ketchikan/Wrangell House District, several high priority projects made it through the legislative pro- cess into the adopted budget. By earmarking $15 million for the Ketchikan Medical Center "Your Health- Your Future" project, state lawmakers confirm the economic importance of maintaining high-quality health care in southern Southeast Alaska.
These state funds allow the City of Ketchikan and its health care partner, PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, to continue moving forward with the first phase of the project. Previous design development funding of $1 million from a federal grant as well as a $3 million state grant in 2013 have completed the necessary architectural and engineering construction documents, bringing the project to shovel-ready stage.
"We are so thankful to all those in state leadership who understood the importance of this project to our region," said Ketchikan Medical Center CEO Patrick Branco. "Thanks to the strong support of Senate Finance Committee Co-Chair Kevin Meyer, Sen. Bert Stedman, House Finance Committee Co-Chair Bill Stoltze, Rep. Peggy Wilson, and, of course, Gov. Sean Parnell, we can look forward to making this crucial project a reality in the near future."
Phase 1 makes up the majority of the project focusing on the 75,000 square foot addition to the front of the existing hospital that creates a new, state-of-the-art surgical suite with three new operating rooms; contains medical office space for primary and specialty care providers; and includes 60 covered parking spaces.
"With this substantial funding from the state, we're on our way to having the type of facility necessary to meet the health care needs of our community and region," says Ketchikan Mayor Lew Williams. "By investing now in this new addition, Ketchikan Medical Center will be able to continue providing people access to high- quality health care well into the future."