Tuesday, June 27, 2017 This Week's Paper

PTHA expansion underway

// Puyallup Tribal Health Authority holds groundbreaking

When Puyallup Tribal Health Authority’s new 10,000-square-foot wing opens, patients will enjoy an even greater level of care thanks to the addition of new medical, dental and pediatric service areas, specialty clinics and more. The new wing will feature two floors totaling 5,000 square feet each, and has been carefully designed using the Production Preparation Process (3P) to gain insight into the facility’s design by the employees themselves.

“It is so exciting to see our employees so invested in the design process,” Executive Director Chris Henry said at a groundbreaking last month.

Puyallup Tribal Council, employees and members of the community gathered to celebrate this important milestone on a sunny morning that began with a blessing by respected tribal elder Jane Wright.

“We’ve needed something like this for a very long time,” she said. “This facility is very needed by our elders and children, and I’m so grateful to be here celebrating this groundbreaking.”

The project will expand the Takopid facility from the external medical clinic wall south toward East 32nd Street.

The project means a great deal to members of the tribe, particularly those who recall receiving very little in the way of health care services years ago. “Our people had so little to begin with, but we always had each other,” Henry said. “We’ve always been a strong people and we are thankful for that,”

Dr. Alan Shelton addressed the crowd, calling the start of construction a dream come true for many people. “We have been over capacity for many years, and this addition will allow us to improve our services in pediatrics and our pharmacy,” he said. “We’re all very excited, and grateful to those who were determined to make this happen.”

The expansion is slated to be complete by the end of next year. Puyallup Tribal Council Vice Chairman Bill Sterud is especially proud of the immense work involved in making this project come to fruition. “There is such a sense of accomplishment any time you can improve care for individuals,” he said. “This project is an important step forward.”