Salem Hospital (Caleb Wolf/Special to Salem Reporter)

The emergency room entrance at Salem Hospital will move next week as construction begins on a new building to accommodate a growing number of patients.

Starting Jan. 8, patients should enter the emergency room at the north end of the hospital's Building A on Oak Street. The new entrance is still accessible from both 12th Street Southeast and Mission Street Southeast.

The new location for the Salem Hospital emergency room entrance. (Courtesy/Salem Health)

Hospital leaders are moving forward with a new seven-story building on what's now a parking lot east of the emergency room. The $235 million project is scheduled to open in 2022 and will have space for 150 more patients, as well as floors for lab or imaging services.

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The construction has changed some parking for patients and staff. Patients heading to the emergency room can drop off their cars with a free valet service before proceeding inside for care.

Patients who are visiting someone in Building A or having lab or imaging work done should park in the parking garage on Capitol Street Southeast. More information about parking is available on the Salem Health website.

The new space will help Salem Hospital care for an aging population that uses more medical services. In 2015, there were about 90,000 people over the age of 60 in the tri-county area Salem Hospital serves. By 2035, there will be about 130,000 based on population projections, said James Parr, the hospital's chief financial officer.

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Reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.