Dixie Regional announces $300M expansion to River Road campus

ST. GEORGE – Intermountain Healthcare’s Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George has announced an expansion to its River Road campus that will double the size of the hospital’s facilities and cost an estimated $300 million.

Steven Caplin, chair of the governing board of Dixie Regional, made the announcement Tuesday at a regular meeting of the Washington County Commission.

The demand for medical services has increased along with the area’s population, Caplin said, with total admissions rising to 21,080 in 2014 compared to 19,350 in 2013.

Although the River Road campus was built less than 15 years ago, Caplin said, “… it wasn’t long after the ribbon-cutting that we were essentially out of space.”

The hospital made do for a number of years with additions and reconfigurations, he said, adding:

But now we’re at a point where we really need to do something significant.

The project is currently in the design phase, Caplin said, with groundbreaking scheduled for spring of 2016 and completion expected in mid-2018.

Two new patient towers and some additions to the existing facility will total an additional 400,000 square feet, doubling the size of the hospital’s facilities. In addition to the new towers, a new 80,000 square-foot facility will be constructed near the River Road towers to house cancer care and research, he said.

Dixie Regional leads the world in genomics-based cancer treatment, Caplin said, which allows physicians to analyze DNA of tumors and provide targeted drugs.

This approach extends life, improves the quality of life and causes fewer side effects without increasing the cost, he said. A number of hospital systems in the U.S. and abroad contract with Dixie Regional’s lab facilities to analyze cancer samples.

“So we’re proud to say that we’re providing the most advanced cancer care in the world,” Caplin said, “right here in Washington County.”

All services from the 400 East campus, including women’s and children’s services, behavioral health and oncology, will be moved to the River Road location.

Dixie Regional Medical Center currently employs 2,131 people, Caplin said, making it the largest private employer in the county.

Other business

The commission was presented with a preliminary Washington County 2016 budget by Clerk/Auditor Kim Hafen. The $30 million budget includes a 2 percent wage increase for county workers and a new library branch in Hildale.

New staffing includes a new mental health officer in the Sheriff’s Office and a new forensic interviewer for the Washington County Children’s Justice Center.

The budget is about $1 million higher than the 2015 budget and will be discussed again at a commission meeting Dec. 15.

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