Hospital leases taxi van service to help with parking issues


NEWPORT — Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital has contracted with Yaquina Bay Cab Company to offer free taxi-van service to help patients get from the parking lots on Ninth Street to the patient drop-off point at the new Emergency entrance off Bay Street.

“We knew that parking would be challenging for patients at this point in the construction process and we want to do all we can to make it easier for them,” said Lesley Ogden, chief executive officer, SPCH.

The free service will operate Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., picking up and unloading patients at the Center for Health Education, 740 SW Ninth St., and the new Emergency drop-off entrance off Bay Street.

“We have researched a number of different solutions and this was the best option,” said Ogden.

Additionally, the hospital has leased off-campus lots and created an employee parking incentive program to encourage staff to leave the closest parking spaces for patients.

Eventually, a new parking lot will sit just outside the new Emergency entrance, but older buildings must first be demolished to make room. It may be late spring before the new lot is completed.

The three-story addition with the new Emergency department, inpatient floors, surgery, imaging areas, infusion and clinics opened on Thursday, Jan. 31. For those who are not utilizing the taxi shuttle service, there are two ways to access the new addition: Enter the old hospital building at the west entrance on Ninth Street, walk through the corridor that links the old building with the new and take elevators from there. The patient drop-off driveway, a black asphalt drive at the Emergency entrance at the south end of the hospital campus, off Bay Street, is another alternative.

Once inside, volunteers and staff are available to help patients find their way. Wheelchairs are at both entrances.

“We know that our parking situation is an inconvenience for individuals and we apologize for that. Our construction team is working feverishly to ensure we have adequate parking as soon as possible, but in the meantime, we hope this new service will help,” Ogden added.

To learn more about the SPCH construction project, go to samhealth.org/NewHospitalNewport

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