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BELLEVUE, WA-Group Health Cooperative is planning to spend $110 million on a new specialty center at the Overlake Hospital Medical Center campus here that will house outpatient and ambulatory specialty services, including ambulatory surgery, urgent care and radiology.

The new 255,000-sf building will be visible from Interstate 405, as will Group Health’s name and logo. The center is scheduled for completion in 2007. Until then, Seattle-based Group Health says it will continue operating its Eastside Hospital in Redmond, which is 30 years old and suffering from a drop in patient volume.

In conjunction with the new center development, Overlake, also a nonprofit organization, is moving forward with a new 80-bed patient tower that will sit next to Group Health’s new facility that will serve in-patients for both organizations. It, too, is scheduled for completion in 2007.

“This is the beginning of a new chapter for Group Health on the Eastside,” says Group Health president/CEO Cheryl Scott. “We are now presented with a real opportunity to serve our members and to continue our efforts to be a visible presence in the community.”

Group Health and Overlake say they will work to finalize the terms of the land purchase and operational agreements over the next few months.

Group Health employs about 9,000 and serves about 560,000 members in Washington and Idaho. Overlake Hospital is a not-for-profit regional medical center that employs more than 2,000 and is licensed for 337 beds.

“In the future, most healthcare will be provided in outpatient and ambulatory settings,” adds Group Health medical director Hugh Straley. “We’ve anticipated the future and are changing to prepare for it.”

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