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Kootenai Health, pharmacy expansion

Kootenai Health has been issued permits for a $4.3 million pharmacy expansion, the tail end of work on a $45.2 million project expanding the hospital’s emergency department and operating rooms.

This second phase of construction follows the first, $57 million phase, which added 100,000 square feet and 150 staffing positions at the Coeur d’Alene hospital.

The first phase added a spacious family birth center and a second floor for orthopedics, neurosurgery and neurology.

The hospital’s new first floor includes 10 labor and delivery rooms, two cesarean section suites and 18 postpartum suites, enabling it to handle about 3,000 births a year in the new unit. The birth center also has 12 private rooms for intensive care of infants, including two equipped to handle twins. They are designed to allow at least one parent to stay with the baby in the room.

The second floor, with 32 patient rooms and a rehabilitation gym, was designed largely with seniors in mind.

The current second phase has expanded the hospital’s emergency department, allowing it to serve more than 55,000 patients a year. The hospital also added more operating rooms, bringing the total to 11 operating suites, nearly doubling the department’s footprint.

Now, with the latest permits, it’s adding a bigger pharmacy.

The pharmacy expansion is “not super flashy,” said Andrea Nagel, spokeswoman for the hospital. “There’s a lot of expansion behind the scenes.”

The project’s general contractor is Bouten Construction, of Spokane. NAC Architecture, of Spokane, designed the project and the structural engineering was done by Coffman Engineers, of Spokane.