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Weyerhaeuser foundation supports hospital project

The Weyerhaeuser Co. Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to Franciscan Health System’s Circle of Care campaign, a $6 million fund-raising effort to help pay for capital improvements at Franciscan’s three South Sound hospitals.

“We’re delighted to receive this generous donation,” said Franciscan Foundation president Bob Krotz, “It is a wonderful illustration of the continued solid support of the Weyerhaeuser foundation to the Federal Way community and to the Franciscan Health System.”

The donation will be used to help pay for construction of the St. Francis Outpatient Center, a three-story, 62,500 square-feet building connecting to the main hospital on St. Francis’ Federal Way campus.

Officials said the center will significantly improve healthcare access and services for residents of Federal Way, and create the community’s first comprehensive cancer care program in partnership with Virginia Mason Medical Center. It will also house expanded rehabilitation services and improved outpatient surgery facilities.

Franciscan has launched $51 million in capital improvements at all three of its hospital campuses—St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood and St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way. The improvements are a response to increasing demand for healthcare.

Franciscan has committed $45 million to its capital campaign and has a goal to raise $6 million through contributions from community members by December 2003. So far, nearly $2.9 million has been raised, Krotz said.

Serving Federal Way and other south King County areas, St. Francis took in more than 72,000 patients last year alone. The population in Federal Way has expanded almost 25 percent since the hospital opened in 1987, and it’s expected to reach 140,000 by 2010. Officials said the planned healthcare improvements at the St. Francis will help the hospital keep pace with the growth.

Additional information about the Circle of Care campaign is available from its director, Kristin Barsness, at (253) 428-8457.

Franciscan Health System (www.fhshealth.org) is a part of Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the largest not-for-profit healthcare systems in the country.

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