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Hospital: from dream to reality

Solomon Levine shovels dirt as officials with Curry Health District watch during Monday’s official groundbreaking at the site in Gold Beach where a new hospital will be built.

The first shovel that struck the gravel pile at the groundbreaking of the new Curry General Hospital Monday evening represented the culmination of two years of work by hundreds of Gold Beach-area residents — and the beginning of a summer flurry of construction.

“A lot has happened in a very short time,” outgoing Curry Health District CEO Wayne Hellerstedt told a crowd of about 200 who gathered at the site of the new facility. “It’s gone from being just a dream to being reality. It’s a giant leap forward for everyone, and without your vote for the $10 million general obligation bond, this project would not happen.”

Voters approved the bond in November, and hospital officials are now awaiting news from the USDA regarding a $19 million loan to complement it so they can start construction.


Health district to ask voters to join

The Curry Health District is reaching out to those in Brookings and Harbor in an attempt to secure its status as the primary medical care provider in Curry County.

Work is already underway to redesign Curry Medical Center in Brookings to accommodate a new emergency department (ED). And this fall, voters in the southern end of the county will get the chance to join the district — and with that membership, get a new 25,000-square-foot facility to house a much-needed dialysis center, infusion therapy for cancer patients, a stationary MRI, surgery, outpatient observation beds and additional health-provider offices.

The cost is expected to be between $8 million and $10 million.

“This is an exciting day for us, as you can imagine,” Brookings Mayor Ron Hedenskog told the hospital board Monday after they agreed to a resolution to pose the annexation question to south county voters. “It’s an extraordinary, historic day for us. But it’s also the beginning of a lot of work.”


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