Contact: Mardi Ford
LA GRANDE – Last week, the Grande Ronde Hospital, Inc. Board of Trustees voted to move forward with the purchase of the Moda Health building located at 909 Adams Avenue in downtown La Grande. Although that purchase has not yet finalized, neither party anticipates issues impeding a prompt closure of the sale.
“We are excited about the many opportunities this presents for our patients and our staff as we work out the logistics of how best to utilize this space. We are also looking forward to being a vital part of the downtown core and the daily interactions that will naturally occur between our employees and the businesses and people located there,” said GRH Board Chair Brad Trisler, adding “and from a practical standpoint, the opportunity to own approximately 33,000 square feet of finished space at much less than what it would cost us to build a similar steel frame building of this quality made sound fiscal sense. As a 501(c)3 not for profit, we look for investments that are both sound financially and allow us to further invest in the community we serve.”
Mr. Trisler emphasized how greatly the Board and the GRH Leadership team appreciated working with the people from Portland-based Moda.
“It was obvious to us during negotiations that the people from Moda were less concerned with self-interest than they were in securing a great fit for this building that also made sense for La Grande, both today and into the future,” he said.
Moda Health President and CEO Robert Gootee said, “Back in 2005, we were proud, in a pioneering collaboration with the City of La Grande, to develop the building we think is among the finest in Eastern Oregon. For more than 10 years, we hosted here a College of Dental Sciences – our final class graduated this spring – as well as a Medical Claims office. All of our current employees will have opportunities to continue with Moda and we anticipate many to embrace this chance to take advantage of our company’s innovative work-from-home policy. We now have this opportunity to transition the building to its next stage of development. We are delighted that our friends at Grande Ronde Hospital now will continue to develop it as a centerpiece of community care and a cornerstone of the city’s downtown landscape.”
The pressing need for more space for essential services on the landlocked GRH campus had become increasingly more apparent, said Trisler, as monthly GRH Board meetings are often proceeded by department tours.
“We have always been creative and efficient at the best use of the space we have here on the hill, and I applaud the leadership and facilities teams for those efforts, but the reality is that we are bursting at the seams. The ability to expand into what is essentially a move-in ready property provides us with options to meet both current and future needs as we determine what makes the most sense for our patients and our employees. We are grateful for this opportunity,” Trisler added.