OMC to build loop road around its Sequim campus

A loop road will run through Olympic Medical Center's Sequim campus to and from Fifth Avenue in a $950,000 project approved for bids at the hospital commission's Aug. 5 meeting.

Contractors will bid on the basic road plus options for more parking and a widened main entrance to the campus.

The Jamestown S'Klallam tribe, which is building its own health center on the site, will split the basic cost with OMC, picking up $285,610 of its cost.

Bids will be accepted or rejected Sept. 2. If one is accepted, a contract will be approved Sept. 12, and construction will start two days later.

In other action at their bimonthly meeting, hospital commissioners heard a proposal to provide inpatient hospice beds for people facing the end of life.

OMC will work with Volunteer Hospice of Clallam

County, Assured Hospice and any out-of-town hospice to which to a visitor to Clallam County might belong, according to Fran Sisson, administrator of Olympic Home Health.

Providing hospice beds would allow OMC doctors and staff to alleviate patients' pain and manage their symptoms, Sisson said, in cases "where curative care is futile."

The goal of treatment would be to return patients to their homes, where most hospice clients prefer to die, she added.

The service, billable to Medicare, will cost $590 a day.

"It's not the type of thing you expect to make a lot of money on," Sisson said.

Sisson and Lorraine Wall, OMC chief nursing officer, said they would ask for hospital commissioners' formal approval at their next meeting.

The session will start at 6 p.m. in Linkletter Hall in the basement of the hospital, 939 Caroline St., Port Angeles.

If approved, hospice beds would become available

Oct. 1, Wall said.

Jim Casey is the editor of the Sequim Gazette. Reach him at

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