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Sky Lakes OHSU launch building project in Klamath Falls

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Sky Lakes, OHSU launch building project in Klamath Falls

Hospital news | Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Partnership will expand clinic, educational space in new collaborative model

Sky Lakes Medical Center and Oregon Health & Science University officials today officially launched a $50 million project to construct a new collaborative health care building in Klamath Falls.

Sky Lakes will contribute the first $15 million to the project. Construction could begin as early as 2017.

The 88,000-square-foot building on the west side of the Sky Lakes campus will consolidate several Sky Lakes clinics now in separate locations around Klamath Falls, and will include OHSU education and research offices and the new academic headquarters for the OHSU Campus for Rural Health.

"This building will be a 'wrap-around' – that is, a clinic setting with educational support space – that will facilitate the development of innovative training opportunities for a variety of medical disciplines," said Sky Lakes CEO Paul Stewart. "Consolidating clinics will make it easier for our patients to access health care services."

PHOTOS: The new building will be on the west side of the medical center's campus and just north of the current Cascades East Family Medicine building.

Sky Lakes has a successful track record of training family medicine residents who then practice in rural communities, including Klamath Falls. The same model will be applied to other health care specialties such as nurse practitioners, physical and occupational therapists, dietitians, and mental health providers, he added.

Listen to an extended interview from Jefferson Public Radio.

"The Sky Lakes-OHSU partnership makes this project possible. When complete, it will help create a stable workforce that will be ready to meet tomorrow's health care challenges," Stewart said. "It will generate economic activity in the region, and it will position Klamath Falls nationally as a model for transforming health care."

OHSU President Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A., noted the more than $2 billion OHSU ONWARD Campaign will include funding for the collaboration in Klamath Falls. OHSU also has committed at least $5 million to help sustain the programs the building will house.

Construction of a new collaborative health care building and support for the OHSU Campus for Rural Health will build on the Cascades East rural health program in Klamath Falls and expand OHSU's nationally recognized education initiatives, according to OHSU Executive Vice President and Provost Jenny Mladenovic, M.D., M.B.A.

"We thank Sky Lakes for being a foundational partner in our vision for the OHSU Campus for Rural Health, which will serve the Klamath Falls area and communities throughout Oregon. We are excited to work with Sky Lakes to build on the momentum that this gift provides," she said.

The partnership in the new building will improve access to health services by putting clinicians, OHSU residents and students in other medical fields together in collaborative teams in a rural setting, said Joyce Holldander-Rodriguez, M.D., program director at the Cascades East Family Medicine Residency and regional associate dean of rural health for OHSU's Campus for Rural Health – Klamath.

"As a physician and a graduate of the Cascades East program, I know the benefits for patients and students of incorporating best practices and integrating health care programs in a rural clinical model," she said.

Sky Lakes and OHSU will create a charitable supporting organization that will oversee raising the remainder of the funds required for the project.

About Sky Lakes: Sky Lakes Medical Center is a community-owned, internationally accredited acute-care hospital licensed for 176 beds. Sky Lakes is among the region's largest employers with a payroll of some 1,300 people. The Sky Lakes family includes a full range of inpatient and outpatient services, a home health agency, a variety of primary care and specialty physician clinics, the award-winning Sky Lakes Cancer Treatment Center, and Cascades East Family Medicine Residency. Together We Rise.

About OHSU: Oregon Health & Science University is the state's only public academic health and research university. As one of Oregon's largest employers with more than 14,000 employees, OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support not found anywhere else in the state. OHSU serves patients from every corner of Oregon and is a conduit for learning for more than 4,400 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to each county in the state.