December 5, 2023

Oregon’s second-largest metropolis may quickly be and not using a hospital inside the town limits following an announcement by PeaceHealth that it intends to wind down operations on the facility.

PeaceHealth Sacred Coronary heart Medical Heart, College District, is the one hospital inside the metropolis of Eugene, which has a inhabitants of about 178,000 residents. It at the moment operates an emergency room along with offering inpatient rehabilitation and inpatient behavioral well being providers. PeaceHealth mentioned in asserting the closure that the ability is underutilized and has skilled declining affected person quantity, persistently producing losses averaging $2 million per thirty days. The closure is topic to regulatory approval.

The world can be served by two different hospitals. PeaceHealth Sacred Coronary heart Medical Heart at RiverBend – the place PeaceHealth is planning to switch its ER and inpatient rehabilitation providers – and McKenzie-Willamette Medical Heart are each positioned within the adjoining metropolis of Springfield, a roughly 15-minute drive from the College District facility at instances when congestion is low. A good portion of Eugene’s inhabitants lives in areas to the south, east and west of the College District, leaving these in want of medical consideration dealing with an extended journey to the hospital.

“After cautious consideration and an ongoing moral discernment, PeaceHealth has determined to shut the hospital at College District,” mentioned Alicia Beymer, chief administrative officer of PeaceHealth Sacred Coronary heart Medical Heart, College District. “Because the wants of the Lane County neighborhood evolve, PeaceHealth providers and websites of care additionally have to evolve to make sure compassionate, high-quality care now and sooner or later. We imagine consolidating some providers at RiverBend will present an enhanced care expertise.”


PeaceHealth introduced plans to shut the Sacred Coronary heart Medical Heart, College District, hospital in Eugene, Oregon, prompting concern because it’s the one hospital inside the metropolis of Eugene. (Eric Revell / FOX Enterprise / Fox Information)

Beymer’s assertion added that PeaceHealth is “dedicated to serving the individuals of Lane County and plant to extend our care and providers over the approaching years” and that “By discontinuing providers at College District, which have unsustainable detrimental working margins, we are able to extra successfully make investments our sources to raised meet the Lane County neighborhood’s present and rising wants and guarantee sufferers have entry to the suitable care, in the suitable setting on the proper time.”

PeaceHealth famous in its announcement that the College District facility sees a median of 95 sufferers every day, with a median of 15.5 sufferers per thirty days admitted as inpatients and solely 7.5 sufferers per thirty days admitted for remark. About two-thirds of sufferers current for routine medical care whereas the remaining one-third search behavioral providers that PeaceHealth says can be higher served by a deliberate disaster stabilization middle in Lane County.


PeaceHealth University District Fire Truck

A fireplace truck drives to the PeaceHealth College District hospital in Eugene, Oregon, on Aug. 24, 2023. (Eric Revell / FOX Enterprise / Fox Information)

Following the announcement, the Oregon Nurses Affiliation (ONA) launched a press release that it’s “strongly opposed” to PeaceHealth’s deliberate closure of the ability. The group mentioned that “it’s unclear how PeaceHealth intends for the residents of Eugene to entry essential, life-saving providers like these supplied by the College District Emergency Division.”

“Closure of the College District hospital would have an infinite affect on RiverBend’s capability to offer care to the greater than 200,000 individuals in Eugene and the encircling areas,” the assertion added. ONA additionally mentioned that PeaceHealth hasn’t indicated whether or not it plans to create an acute look after the aged unit at RiverBend related to what’s at the moment operated on the College District.

The group says it’s working with union companions at PeaceHealth, together with Service Staff Worldwide Union (SEIU), the Worldwide Union of Working Engineers (IUOE), and the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Well being Professionals (OFNHP) “on a coordinated response to this harmful and dangerous determination by PeaceHealth.”


PeaceHealth Sacred Heart University District

The PeaceHealth Sacred Coronary heart Medical Heart, College District, hospital in Eugene, Oregon, on Aug. 24, 2023. (Eric Revell / FOX Enterprise / Fox Information)

“ONA nurses had been blindsided by this announcement. Nurses simply settled a four-year settlement with the hospital after a prolonged and contentious contract negotiation. At no level throughout these negotiations had been nurses given even the slightest trace {that a} closure of the College District was on the desk,” the nurses union assertion added.

Elizabeth B., an space resident who was protesting the deliberate closure exterior the ability, advised FOX Enterprise, “It’s an amazing loss for a metropolis of this measurement to not have its personal ER.”

“Somebody must function some kind of emergency care ER unit right here and never simply the little clinics and stuff however a full emergency room when any person has a stroke or coronary heart assault or bleeding, and so on. And that must be right here for all of our campus space and our bigger space to the south and east and west of right here,” she added.


She additionally expressed concern about the way forward for the College District facility given PeaceHealth’s funding in RiverBend – which opened in 2008 and has full medical and surgical providers – and lingering uncertainty over the College District hospital following latest updates by PeaceHealth.

In October 2022, PeaceHealth introduced the completion of a modernization challenge on the College District campus following a year-and-a-half challenge that revitalized the foyer and eliminated 4 unused buildings.

A spokesperson for PeaceHealth advised FOX Enterprise, “No determination on the way forward for the property has been made presently. We’re centered on the sleek transition of providers to our RiverBend location in close by Springfield.”