Gold Beach voters OK new hospital

November 06, 2013 12:05 am

The General will be replaced. 

About 65 percent of voters in the Curry Health Network’s special district voted in favor of a $10 million bond to construct a new Curry General Hospital in Gold Beach and improve the Port Orford clinic.

“It’s so great for the community,” said Deb Wilson, a board member for Curry Health Network, who joined other supporters of the measure at a Gold Beach restaurant Tuesday night.

“With a new facility, we will be able to bring in health care professionals and new services,” Wilson said.

Andrew Bair, CEO of Curry Health Network, said that hospital personnel will start interviewing architect firms in the coming weeks and he hopes to break ground on construction in spring or summer of 2014. 

 “I’m grateful for the efforts of the many people who put so much energy in making this occur,” Bair said. “It will be beneficial to the community for generations to come.”

The bond is for 74 cents per $1,000 of assessed value in the special district, which stretches from Pistol River north to Elk River. It does not include Brookings. In addition to the hospital and the Port Orford clinic, the Curry Health Network also operates the Curry Medical Center in Brookings. 

The 60-year-old Curry General Hospital does not comply with fire and safety codes, and could have been shut down in 2016.

 The hospital’s emergency room was closed for two months this summer because of fire and safety code concerns. 

The new hospital will be built on the same lot as the current facility, which will remain open until the new one is completed. 

District officials hope to match that money from the bond with $10 million from a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to construct a $20 million facility. 

“It’s better than we expected,” said Dale Thomas, co-chairman  of the Friends of Curry General Hospital PAC. “We knew we had to win big in Gold Beach.”