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BELLEVUE, WA-In an effort to position itself as a regional medical center for the Eastside, Overlake Hospital Medical Center has begun preparing for an expansion that will increase the facility’s total number of beds by nearly a third, from 257 to 337.

Cost estimates for the expansion were unavailable, but the hospital is a private, non-profit entity and will rely on fundraising by the Overlake Hospital Auxiliaries and Foundation. In addition to extra beds, the expansion also might include a new emergency department, critical care units and operating rooms. The new construction is expected to total about 157,000 sf when complete.

“The need for additional beds and services has been evident for some time, due to population growth on the Eastside, the aging of the population and the desire of Eastside residents to receive superior medical care close to home,”” says Ken Graham, Overlake’s chief executive officer.

The state Department of Health, which reviews all health care facility expansions, OK’d its Overlake’s renovation plans earlier this week. Hospital officials had submitted an application for the extra beds in December 2001.

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