The District is the catalyst – and project developer – for creating a new, state of the art health facility that will be operated by the Nehalem Bay Health Center and Pharmacy. The new facility will replace the aging health center building on the Upper Campus in Wheeler.
Nehalem Bay Health Center & Pharmacy has outgrown the nearly 40-year-old building it leases from the District. Pharmacy space is severely limited and expansion of primary care services, including dental health care and specialty care is not possible in the current facility. To expand primary-care services and patient access, Nehalem Bay Health Center & Pharmacy needs more space in a modern facility outfitted for state-of-the-art telemedicine and other services.
The new primary-care health center and pharmacy building, more than doubling the size of the existing facility, will be constructed on the District’s Lower Campus on Hospital Road adjacent to Highway 101. The new health center, a two-story building, will improve visibility and access for the community, along with a much-needed expanded pharmacy.
Public transit will be incorporated in the design, and the location on Highway 101 is expected to enhance public access to transit services.
The need for affordable housing for much of the local workforce, including the approximate 75 staff at the Care Center and Nehalem Bay Health Center and Pharmacy, is at a crisis point. The District recognizes this crisis as a public health issue.
A project addressing housing needs of local health care and other essential workers is squarely within the wheelhouse of the District.
Relocation of the existing health center and removal of the former hospital building will free up land on the District’s Upper Campus and enable a phased development of workforce housing.
The District intends to partner with a private or non-profit developer to undertake the housing component of the District’s overall plan. The housing project will reflect community values, including zoning and density requirements.
The Care Center provides long-term skilled nursing care and rehabilitation services. It is a vital asset in our District as it is the only facility of its type between Astoria and Newport.
The Oregon Health Authority, in a report prepared by Portland State University’s Institute on Aging, notes: Tillamook County has a higher percentage of adults ages 65 and older compared to Oregon overall, has the highest percentage of veterans 65+ and along with Clatsop and Columbia Counties, Tillamook has a higher percent of householders living alone (65+) compared to the rest of Oregon.
An independent review commissioned in 2022 by the District of Care Center operations (Operational Assessment of Nehalem Valley Care Center) noted the on-going need for the facility, as well as the lack of memory care facilities in the area. The report noted that “with steady population growth … projections indicate that the current 50-bed licensed capacity will not be enough to meet the demand in 2026.”
Construct a new, state-of-the-art health center and pharmacy with improved health care services close to home
Renovate and Modernize the Nehalem Valley Care Center
Plan and Construct Workforce Housing
WHAT'S ON THE HORIZON
The District board is diligently working to address concurrently three critical areas of health service delivery: Build a new state-of-the-art health center and pharmacy building; Renovate and modernize the long-term skilled nursing facility; Plan for and construct workforce housing.