Work Begins on Dedicated, Leading-Edge Orthopedic Facility at Swedish Medical Center/First Hill Camp

Work Begins on Dedicated, Leading-Edge Orthopedic Facility at Swedish Medical Center/First Hill Campus

SEATTLE, Jan. 4, 2007 – Swedish Medical Center this month starts construction of an innovative $130 million dedicated orthopedic facility on Seattle's First Hill at the site of the former Swedish Annex building at 601 Broadway between Cherry and James streets. Once completed, the new 372,000 square-foot building will be the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest and one of the largest in the nation. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Friday morning, Jan. 5 and the target opening date is summer 2008.

Though Swedish has been the largest provider of orthopedic care in the region for many years, the expected demand for increased services as baby boomers age is what ultimately convinced the medical center that this significant investment will benefit the community well into the future.

The new structure will encompass seven clinical floors: one floor will house pre-surgical education and testing, one floor will be dedicated to surgery, three floors will be devoted to inpatient care, and two floors will be set aside for medical offices. In addition, there will be four floors dedicated to underground parking.

The two floors set aside for medical offices will be leased to Orthopedic Physician Associates (OPA), a division of Proliance Surgeons, Inc., P.S. OPA is a group of 20 private-practice orthopedic specialists whose clinical offices are currently housed in various medical-office buildings on Swedish's First Hill and Cherry Hill (formerly Providence) Campuses. Flinn Ferguson Corporate Real Estate coordinated the lease signing for OPA.

This state-of-the-art orthopedic facility will also include the addition of 84 new inpatient beds (56 initially and 28 to be added in the future), 10 dedicated orthopedic operating rooms, a dedicated sterile-processing area, 15 flexible pre-operative/recovery beds, 13 post-anesthesia care-unit beds, an outpatient pharmacy, a pre-admission area, conference rooms and a café.

"In this dedicated facility we'll be able to consolidate our orthopedic resources in a way that is efficient for patients, physicians and staff," said Swedish Chief Operating Officer Cal Knight, who oversees orthopedic services. "The project has also given us the ability to create a technologically advanced facility that will allow Swedish to continue to provide world-class orthopedic care well into the future."

The more than 50 physicians in Swedish's orthopedic program perform in excess of 6,400 orthopedic-related procedures per year, and lead the region in inpatient orthopedic market share, including joint replacements.

"As the population ages, the need for orthopedic services – including joint replacement and spine surgery – will only increase," said James Crutcher, M.D., chief of orthopedics for Swedish. "We began the planning for this dedicated orthopedic facility in 2003, in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, administration, architects, nurses, physical therapists, sterile-processing specialists and other staff. It's designed to provide a seamless system of care and the best possible experience and outcomes for patients."

Swedish has a nearly 100-year history of high-level orthopedic care. The medical center is known as a leader in joint-replacement and spine surgery, drawing patients from across the country and around the world. In fact, more than 29 percent of Swedish's orthopedic surgery patients come from outside the medical center's typical service area of King and Snohomish Counties.

"Once completed, this dedicated, leading-edge orthopedic facility will definitely increase the ability of orthopedic and spine surgery specialists at Swedish to continue providing our patients with the best, highest quality and most technologically advanced array of orthopedic services in the Pacific Northwest," said Swedish-affiliated orthopedic surgeon Daniel Flugstad, M.D.

The work of orthopedic and spine physicians and surgeons involves the body's entire musculoskeletal system – bones, muscles, joints and tendons. Orthopedic and spine problems may be congenital (from birth) or degenerative (progressively worsening due to aging or disease). They may also be caused by accident and overuse. Members of the orthopedic-care team at Swedish include surgeons, physiatrists, orthopedic nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, and many other ancillary and support services.

Swedish Vice President for Ambulatory and Ancillary Services Brian Kuske, Vice President for Facilities Darren Redick, and Project Director Heidi Aylsworth will oversee day-to-day development of the dedicated orthopedic facility. NBBJ of Seattle is the project architect and Sellen Construction is the general contractor.

Estimated Timeline

  • Annex building vacated: October 2006
  • Demolition: Mid-November to Dec. 31, 2006
  • Groundbreaking ceremony: Friday, Jan. 5 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Excavation begins: January 2007
  • Concrete/steel pour: March 2007
  • Completion and move in: Spring 2008
  • Building open: Early summer 2008


About Swedish Medical Center

Swedish Medical Center is the largest, most comprehensive, nonprofit health provider in the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 1910, it now has more than 7,000 employees and a medical staff of more than 2,000 physicians, most of which are private practitioners. Swedish encompasses three hospital campuses – First Hill, Cherry Hill (formerly Providence) and Ballard – totaling 1,245 licensed beds, a new freestanding emergency room and specialty center in Issaquah, Swedish Home Care Services and Swedish Physicians – a network of 12 primary-care clinics located throughout the Greater Seattle area. In addition to general medical and surgical care, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, neurological care, sleep medicine, pediatrics, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, visit

Media Coverage

  • To read a related article posted on the Puget Sound Business Journal Web site, click here.
  • To read a related article published in the February 2007 issue of Northwest Construction, click here.
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