Eugene Mayor Calls on Oregon Governor to Intervene in Hospital Closure

When a facility closes, facilities management can help by managing the assets

By Jeff Wardon, Jr., Assistant Editor

Some healthcare facilities are struggling to stay open in recent years, with many either closing or going into bankruptcy. The closure either way has wide ramifications for the community surrounding it, as access to care would become more limited.

One such healthcare facility facing closure is PeaceHealth’s University District hospital, located in Eugene, Oregon.

According to an article from KLCC, Eugene’s mayor Lucy Vinis, while at a rally to keep the hospital open, called upon Oregon’s governor to step in and act. Vinis stressed that the University District hospital is the city’s only hospital, and that “lives will be lost” if they are unable to negotiate an alternative. Another speaker at the rally, Chelsea Swift, raised concern over the hospital’s behavioral services if they closed, since the only other local option is still being worked on.

PeaceHealth released a statement following the event saying, “We plan to continue investing in new and expanded services at our RiverBend campus in Springfield, which was built to serve the entire region, and at our hospitals in Cottage Grove and Florence and numerous clinics.”

However, PeaceHealth is temporarily relocating its behavioral health services to the RiverBend campus. Additionally, Vinis said that the closure of the University District hospital would be discussed at Eugene’s City Council meeting.

Healthcare Facilities Today recently covered the original release from PeaceHealth regarding the closure. In it, they cited “underutilization” and declining patient numbers as their major causes for closing the Eugene hospital.

When a facility closes, facilities management can help by managing the assets of the closed facility. Facilities managers can ensure whether the assets are still in functional condition. If certain technologies or supplies are still good and usable, they can be leased out/repurposed for other healthcare facilities that may need them.

Jeff Wardon, Jr. is the assistant editor for the facilities market.

September 13, 2023

Topic Area: Project Management

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