For Gig Harbor and the Peninsula:
New and Exciting Options for Care
Gig Harbor has always been home to both excellent doctors and choices for medical care, but until recently the relatively small population base meant that certain services were only available across the Narrows Bridge in Tacoma. Not anymore.
In the past several years, residents of Gig Harbor and the Peninsula have seen their options for care increase exponentially with the addition of major medical facilities from both MultiCare and Franciscan Health System.
The first to offer expanded medical services was MultiCare, a not-for-profit organization based in the Tacoma area since 1882, with the opening of the Gig Harbor Medical Park in June 2007, adjacent to the new Uptown Gig Harbor shopping complex.
MultiCare has been serving the Gig Harbor Peninsula for more than 15 years with both primary and urgent care services, but the new facility added a host of expanded offerings for residents. One of the most innovative is the Women’s Health and Wellness Center, including the Healthy Reflections Medical and Day Spa, and a YMCA Women’s Fitness Center, offering both classes (yoga and Pilates) and circuit training for YMCA members. Also on site is a YMCA-staffed nursery for children from 6 months to 6 years old, making it more convenient for women with small children to access the center.
In addition, the new medical park offers medical oncology services, day surgery, and the Mary Bridge Child Express as part of the Urgent Care, guaranteeing there will always be a pediatrician available to see a sick child. And, in 2005, MultiCare began collaborating with the YMCA of Tacoma-Pierce County to improve the health of the community. As part of this effort, they opened MultiCare Gig Harbor North on the second floor of the new YMCA in Gig Harbor, specializing in hand therapy, physical therapy, massage and nutritional services.
The second major expansion of medical care came with the March 2009 opening in north Gig Harbor of St. Anthony Hospital, affiliated with the not-for-profit Franciscan Health System. This 80-bed facility is the Gig Harbor Peninsula’s first and only full-service hospital. Among other offerings is 24-hour emergency care, which will save numerous parents a white-knuckled trip across the Narrows Bridge into Tacoma with a sick child in the middle of the night.
A recent article published in the Tacoma News Tribune prior to the hospital’s opening reported that, in one month alone, Gig Harbor’s Fire District 5 made 248 trips across the Narrows to Tacoma-area hospitals (that’s more than eight trips a day on average), so the opening of emergency care closer to home is a welcomed addition for both residents and medical first responders.
The new hospital also offers surgical and critical care units, sophisticated diagnostic services, both inpatient and outpatient surgery, and a heart catheterization and vascular laboratory. Connected to the new hospital is the Milgard Medical Pavilion, providing a host of outpatient services including physical, occupational and speech therapies, and cancer treatment in the Jane Thompson Russell Cancer Care Center.
According to St. Anthony’s 2009 Annual Report, the emergency room alone treated almost 5,000 patients in its first four months of operation, proving what residents of the Gig Harbor Peninsula have known for quite some time–namely, that expanded medical services were much needed and overdue. Happily, that is no longer true, and the community is grateful to both MultiCare and St. Anthony Hospital for making it a safer place to live by providing complete medical care on this side of the Narrows Bridge.