PeaceHealth wants to close Eugene’s only hospital

By Chris Lehman (KLCC)
Aug. 23, 2023 6:08 p.m.

Eugene could soon be without a hospital.

PeaceHealth announced Tuesday that it plans to close its University District Hospital in downtown Eugene and shift most services provided there to its RiverBend campus, located nearly six miles away in Springfield.


The closure requires regulatory approval, a process that PeaceHealth said is underway.

Exterior of a hospital building

A file photo of Eugene's only hospital. PeaceHealth has proposed closing the University District Hospital and sending all patients to a sister facility in Springfield.

Rachael McDonald

“As the needs of the Lane County community evolve, PeaceHealth services and sites of care also need to evolve to ensure compassionate, high-quality care now and in the future,” said PeaceHealth University District chief administrative officer Alicia Beymer in a press release. “We believe consolidating some services at RiverBend will provide an enhanced care experience.”


PeaceHealth said the hospital is losing $2 million per month, and sees an average of 95 patient visits daily. The University District location has an emergency department and inpatient rehabilitation but does not offer some traditional hospital services such as maternity care or surgery. Those services will continue to be offered at the RiverBend location, which opened in 2008.

The announcement was a shock to nurses working at the facility, who recently negotiated a new contract.

“We like working there,” said Kevyn Paul, a charge nurse who’s worked at University District for more than 30 years. “We’re a very cohesive team, and that’s just going to be ripped apart.”

The Oregon Nurses Association said it’s “strongly opposed” to the potential closure.

“We are calling upon management to reverse this decision, which we believe is dangerous and irresponsible, immediately,” said ONA chief of staff Scott Palmer.

According to PeaceHealth, the University District Emergency Department could be shuttered as soon as November. Other services will likely follow in 2024, pending approval from the state.

PeaceHealth spokesperson Sherri Buri McDonald declined to be interviewed KLCC about the announcement.