Hospital on track to open phase 2 in January

Posted: Thursday, October 19, 2006


  Tommi Opheim, Kyle Welch and Rachel Keller of Booth Landscaping work Wednesday afternoon outside the new wing at Central Peninsula General Hospital. Photo by M. Scott Moon

Tommi Opheim, Kyle Welch and Rachel Keller of Booth Landscaping work Wednesday afternoon outside the new wing at Central Peninsula General Hospital.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Central Peninsula General Hospital will open the doors to its new 74,000 square-foot building Jan. 2. The opening of the new hospital wing, a two-story building with a basement, will mark the completion of the second phase of the hospital’s $50 million dollar expansion project.

“We’re very excited about what is happening at the hospital and we think it’s a great asset for the community,” CPGH Chief Executive Officer Ryan Smith said during a presentation to the Kenai Chamber of Commerce at its luncheon Wednesday.

Phase one of the project — site preparation — was completed by the end of 2004, and Smith said the third phase will begin as soon as the transition into the new hospital has been completed.

Phase three will focus on the old building, expanding the emergency room, renovating the lobby and relocating the cafeteria to the front entrance.

The completion of the second phase of the expansion replaces the hospital’s current 33 multi-patient rooms with 50 single-patient rooms, each measuring 250 square-feet, and will add two surgeries, bringing the total number to four and a second sterile-procedure.

The borough will turn over the keys to the new building to the hospital around Dec. 6, after which the hospital will take about four weeks to transition into the new wing, Smith said.

The new expansions are drawing excitement from the medical community all around the state, he said.

“When I go places, to hospital association meetings, and talk with the physicians, there is a top of mind awareness about what is going on here,” he said. “People are showing up who want to be a part of what’s happening in this medical community. It is a great selling point for the hospital.”

In addition, Smith said the new private rooms are more in line with the hospital’s affiliation with the Planetree philosophy of patient-orientated health care, he said.

“These are bigger rooms that will assure patient privacy,” he said.

Ryan was also optimistic about the potential for occupancy growth at the new facility.

“The medical community is really poised for substantial growth,” he said.

To mark the completion of the third phase of its expansion, CPGH will host a community celebration Jan. 3.

However, the hospital has more than just its recent expansion to celebrate.

Smith said by following the guidelines of programs under its Planetree affiliation, the hospital has reduced worker compensation expenditures from a little over half a million in 2001, to just $4,000 dollars this year.

“We really have tried to make employee safety a number one issue for us,” he said. “(Now) our employees are safer.”

And when the hospital recently was inspected by state and federal surveyors, who evaluated the hospital on 11,000 Medicare requirements, they found only one deficiency, which was related to a drug on a medication cart, he said.

“So a very successful survey, by any standards,” he said.

CPGH, which is one of the state’s top 100 employers, is owned by the borough and managed by a nonprofit, local governing board.

Patrice Kohl can be reached at

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