MultiCare Allenmore Hospital is responding to Tacoma’s growing population — and the region’s growing need for medical care — by expanding its emergency department.

The hospital broke ground on a $15 million, 14,600-square-foot expansion earlier this week. The project, which will allow the emergency department to serve up to 10,000 more patients per year, is expected to be completed by the fall of this year.

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Hospital leadership broke ground on the expansion project on Jan. 9, 2019.

“Our number-one priority is the safety and care of each person in this community,” said Sharon Oxendale, Allenmore’s president and COO. “This $15 million investment in our emergency department is a tangible reflection of that commitment and just one of many new initiatives that we’re working on to elevate the level of care at the Allenmore Hospital campus.”

Located at 1901 South Union Avenue, Allenmore’s emergency department will continue operating 24 hours a day during construction.

The first phase of the project includes construction of the new 14,600-square-foot addition, which includes four exam rooms, two resuscitation rooms, four triage rooms, four risk-reduction rooms, eight results-pending bays, and one isolation room. That building is scheduled to be finished by this spring. The second phase will include demolition of the old emergency department building, and is expected to be completed by the fall.

In addition to increasing patient capacity, the hospital said it will be adding amenities that permit faster care and improve patient experience and safety.

“A visit to the emergency department can be stressful for patients and their families,” said Alden Bishop, the campus administrator at Allenmore. “Our goal is to alleviate that stress by delivering the highest levels of care in a setting that’s designed to quickly address all of their needs. Everyone on our staff is excited to be a part of this new expansion project that will secure Allenmore’s role as a trusted community asset in the years to come.”