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Auburn Regional to appeal State's decision on need for beds

Auburn Regional Medical Center today announced its decision to appeal the recent State Department of Health decision that approved the creation of a new MultiCare hospital in Covington, while denying new beds to Auburn Regional and Valley Medical Center in Renton.

“We are clearly disappointed in the department’s decision to approve the creation of a new limited-service facility, rather than support the two existing full-service community hospitals that serve the area,” explained hospital spokeswoman Joyce Glavish. “We believe the people in Covington need increased access to comprehensive services, such as heart attack and stroke care. With this decision, they will still have to travel to Auburn or Valley to receive that care.”

The State’s decision also could impact Auburn-area residents’ long-term access to health services. Auburn Regional had requested 70 new beds from the state with plans to build a new patient tower.

“We expect demand for services will continue to grow at Auburn Regional,” Glavish said. “We will continue to work to improve efficiencies to increase our capacity. In the long-run, however, the lack of new beds could mean local residents will have to travel farther from home for health care.”

Valley Medical Center already has announced its intention to appeal the State’s decision which denied their request for 60 new beds.

Auburn Regional Medical Center is a 162-bed hospital serving Southeast King and Northeast Pierce Counties. The hospital, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, provides comprehensive medical and surgical services including centers for stroke, heart, cancer and Level III trauma care.

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