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Asante works on improvements

More parking spaces, new clinic in the works

Asante Health System, the umbrella nonprofit corporation for Rogue ValleyMedical Center, Three Rivers Community Hospital and Health Center and othermedical related services, is in the midst of expanding.

It's adding more than 100 parking spaces, has plans for a large additionto its executive offices, and will build a new medical clinic in White City.

After July, patients and visitors shouldn't have to troll for a parkingspace at Rogue Valley Medical Center.

Ground is being leveled and soil hauled away to add 173 parking spacesat the northeast corner of the medical campus along Siskiyou Boulevard andMurphy Road.

Employees will use the new parking lot, freeing up spaces closer to thehospital for patients and visitors, said Bob Doolen, vice president of finance.

Plans are also in the hopper for adding to the current 10,000-square-footadministrative building at 2650 Siskiyou Blvd.

Doolen said Asante's architects recommended an expansion no larger than20,000 square feet to match the aesthetics of the medical campus.

No formal action has been taken yet by the Asante board, but the expansionis high on the priority list and members would like the addition completedby next spring, Doolen said.

A larger office building is needed so all of Asante's executives andstaff can be under one roof, he said. Currently some of them are scatteredthroughout the campus and in rented property and buildings near the hospital,he said.

A larger building also allows for some functions common to Asante's varioussubsidiaries, such as accounting and billing, to be in one place, makingtheir operations more efficient, Doolen said. It still isn't clear, however,which departments will be in the expanded headquarters building.

Farther north, Asante has purchased 6 acres of land at the corner ofAvenue G and Highway 62 in White City next to the Veteran's Affairs Domiciliary.

Drs. Doug McMahon and Don Robertson of the Southern Oregon Health Trust,a physician group owned by Asante, are swamped at their family care officesat 2434 Avenue A in White City, and plans are to build a medical clinicwith room enough for four to six family physicians, Doolen said.

He hopes they will have a design by the end of summer.

The first project under way, the added parking spaces, is expected tobe finished by the end of July and has a $240,000 budget, but Doolen expectsit to come in under that amount at $200,000.

Parking is a difficult problem for patients and patient visitorsand this is an opportunity to provide more spaces, Doolen said.