ALAMEDA COUNTY: Starts $83M Expansion for Highland Hospital
Alameda County is set begin an $83 million expansion of Highland Hospital, a project "county officials said underscores their commitment to the poor." The five-story building, scheduled to open in the fall of 2000, will replace the county hospital's "overcrowded and aging emergency, trauma and outpatient surgery facilities, as well as primary-care and specialty clinics," leaving the existing building available almost exclusively for acute-care, inpatient beds. County officials said the new facility will be more efficient and will reduce patient waiting times. "Obviously, this is a milestone for the county. Just five years ago, it was unclear what the future of the medical center would be. This shows our continued commitment to the uninsured and underinsured of Alameda county," said County Board of Supervisors President Wilma Chan. The state will contribute $43 million for the new building; the county has issued bonds for the remainder for about $5 million annually. In addition, the Alameda County Health Care Foundation "has kicked off a campaign to raise $5 million for new medical equipment for the new building and $1 million to begin an endowment for future needs" (Brewer, Contra Costa Times, 3/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.