Plans For New Hospital in Sunnyside are Under Way - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Plans For New Hospital in Sunnyside are Under Way

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YAKIMA, Wash. -

The area between Yakima and the Tri-Cities is big.

"In the valley, between Yakima and the Tri-Cities, we have about 120 to 130 thousand folks..."

Big enough that not having a major hospital between the two areas can a problem.

"Well, the need was prompted by the fact that we're growing so fast as an organization. But it all ties back to the population here in the valley"says Sunnyside Hospital CEO John Gallagher.

But at the midway point in Sunnyside, plans to build a new hospital serving smaller areas opens huge possibilities for the little town...

With an estimated hundred thousand people in the rural Yakima valley, a growing need for patients to reach a more accessible hospital is what makes Sunnyside a prime location to expand services...

Chief Nursing Operator Cynthia Lewis has high hopes for the expansion. With a bigger facility, new programs will also help patients with more particular ailments.

"We'll be able to grow and expand services so that people within the region will be able to come to Sunnyside Community Hospital, receive care and be able to stay at home and take care and participate in their daily lives."

The hospital is also expected to create jobs for incoming doctors and nurses as well... With new programs in orthopedics and neurosurgery, the hospital is already preparing for their expansion.

"We're getting ready to kick off our Oncology Center. We're very excited to be able to continue to add new services and augment services. We'll continue that through our time here and into the new facility." continued Gallagher.

With the current hospital bursting at the seams to accommodate patients, having a new hospital will help take the pressure off having to go all the way to Yakima or the Tri-Cities.

The hundred and sixty thousand square foot facility is expected to begin construction in 2016 and open to patients by 2018.