Providence’s two large Portland-area campuses expand emergency care

Scott Marsal, M.D., MSc, FACP, chief medical officer, Providence Portland Medical Center
Ray Moreno, M.D., chief medical officer, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center

Planning is underway for a multi-year project to expand the Providence Portland Medical Center Emergency Department. The expansion will add exam rooms for both medical and behavioral health patients; create a results waiting area to free up critically needed beds; and provide additional safety and security measures for patients, visitors and caregivers.

The last remodel to the Providence Portland ED was 38 years ago. In 2022, the hospital had 50,000 ED visits with an average of 150 patients a day. Visits are projected to grow to 80,000 annually, with nearly 30% admitted for inpatient care. Today, 9% of Providence Portland ED patients have behavioral health needs – higher than any other hospital in the state.

Providence Portland joins our colleagues at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center who embarked a few months ago on an expansion of their emergency department.

Together, Providence’s two main Portland-area hospitals are expanding to meet the growing needs of our communities. Projections are that both EDs combined will serve about 180,000 patient visits a year.

Providence Portland Medical Center emergency expansion
The patients coming to the ED on Portland’s east side often are very sick and have complex needs. Many struggle with mental health challenges as well as physical needs. 

Providence Portland’s $45 million ED remodel will begin later this year. The multi-year project will add nearly two dozen exam rooms, most of which will flex for both medical and behavioral health acute care; vertical care rooms; and a “results pending” area for low-acuity patients that will increase access to ED beds for those with more critical needs. Additional remodeling will enhance existing care spaces and increase storage, safety and security in the ED. 

The project will involve expanding into the second floor and basement space directly above and below the current ED.

Providence St. Vincent Medical Center expansion
Providence St. Vincent Medical Center embarked in 2022 on an expansion of its emergency department, transforming the hospital’s 30-year-old ED to better meet the needs of the growing west-side community.

Providence St. Vincent’s ED is the busiest in the Portland metro area, with more than 80,000 visits annually, including specialized care in areas such as heart, stroke and pediatrics. Since opening in 1994, the ED has seen Oregon’s growing and aging population pushing the hospital’s 30-year-old facility to the limits.

As the department grows to serve more than 100,000 patients a year, the new facility will be larger, with 84 total treatment spaces compared to 58 today. It also will be safer and smarter, designed to provide faster and more efficient care.

Paying for both ED remodels
In late 2022, Providence Foundations of Oregon launched a campaign – called Tomorrow Starts Today: Re-imagining Emergency and Critical Care – to raise money. Providence plans to pay for the remodels largely with the support of our generous donors.

Providence Portland Medical Center
Providence Portland’s remodel is projected to cost $45 million. The hospital received support from the Providence system and $12.2 million from the Providence Portland Medical Foundation’s Area of Greatest Need fund. The foundation secured a $4.3 million state grant to help with remodeling that will benefit behavioral health patients and is working with its donors and volunteers to raise an additional $20 million.  

If you would like to support the Providence Portland campaign, please donate here.  

Providence St. Vincent Medical Center
The Providence St. Vincent ED remodel has received support from the Providence system and $10 million from the Providence St. Vincent Medical Foundation’s Area of Greatest Need fund. In October 2022, the foundation embarked on a campaign to raise an additional $35 million.

If you would like to support the Providence St. Vincent campaign, please donate here


The financial commitment from donors and Providence is a direct result of the hard work from you and our care teams, especially through the challenging surges and demands of the COVID pandemic and beyond.

We will keep you – our valued provider partners – apprised as the expansions progress at both hospital campuses. We are proud and excited about the promise these expansions provide, particularly in the difference they will make to the communities we serve on both sides of the Willamette River.


About the Author

The inScope content team focuses on bringing you the latest in clinical news from our team of world-class medical providers and physician leaders.

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