Community Medical Center Breaks Ground on $13.5 Million Emergency Department

New expansion will accommodate Western Montana’s growing and aging population.

Health leaders from Community Medical Center & Community Children’s, part of LifePoint Health, announced Wednesday morning a $13.5 million expansion and remodel of the existing Emergency Department. The project is made possible by an investment from LifePoint Health. The new Emergency Department will offer several adult and pediatric emergency services and amenities including:

  • All private rooms
  • Dedicated behavioral health rooms
  • Bariatric sensitive spaces
  • Dedicated isolation room with a decontamination area for patients
    with contagious diseases
  • Pediatric rooms
  • New trauma bays
  • Heated ambulance garage
  • 911 lounge for first responders

After a through analysis of population growth and demographic projections for Western Montana, CMC and Community Children’s identified a need to renovate and expand the emergency department to better serve the community. The population of people age 65+ in Missoula and surrounding areas is expected to grow by ~18 percent1 in the next five years. An older population means more demand for health care services. Additionally, as a regional leader in pediatric care, the new pediatric spaces will help meet the unique needs of children and families during medical emergencies.

“Many hours of careful thought and planning went into the new Emergency Department and I’m excited to break ground on this new facility,” said Dr. Nancy Trangmoe, Medical Director for Community Medical Center’s Emergency Department. “It is important to us that we provide care and facilities that meet the needs of our patients. Not only do we strive to provide the best medical care and technology – we also want to make medical care more accessible. Having easily accessible parking that is close to the entrance, treatment spaces that recognize the special needs of children, behavioral health, and older adults, and an environment that is safe and reduces anxiety are just as important as the latest medical technology.”

The physical environment of the new emergency department will be warm and inviting to improve the experience for patients. Non-glare, slip-proof faux wood floors and added handrails will be used to reduce the risk of falling. New treatment areas for low-acuity patients who are waiting for test results will help reduce the amount of time patients spend in the ER. A new ambulance garage will accommodate more parking and will provide a safer environment for EMS to transfer patients. A dedicated 911 Lounge will be available for all first responders to grab a bite to eat or chart between calls. Additional space will be added for easier care coordination with social and behavioral health professionals who will assist patients and families with anxiety and support services.  

The contractor for the project will be Swank Enterprises from Missoula and Kalispell. The Emergency Department will remain open to care for patients during construction. The completion date is expected in early 2022.

"Building this new emergency department is just one more example of how deeply invested we are in the Missoula community and how we are always looking for ways to better serve its needs," said Sandy Podley, Western Division President for LifePoint Health. "LifePoint Health is proud to partner with Community Medical Center to continue transforming the health of this region."