California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of April 3, 2009
Children's Hospital Central California, Madera
On March 27, Children's Hospital Central California got a $1 million donation from a family connected to Dinuba-based frozen food company Ruiz Foods, the Fresno Bee reports.
Hospital CEO William Huag said the donation will contribute to the hospital's mission of treating children regardless of their families' ability to pay (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 3/28).
Los Angeles Kaiser Permanente
The new Los Angeles Kaiser Permanente hospital opened March 31, Southern California Public Radio's "KPCC News" reports.
The $600 million, 800,000-square-foot facility is Kaiser's largest hospital in the U.S. and has 57 emergency department rooms (Nazario, "KPCC News," KPCC, 3/30).
Mercy Medical Center Merced
In May 2010, Mercy Medical Center Merced is scheduled to open its new hospital, the Merced Sun-Star reports.
The new facility will have 196 rooms, including 184 private rooms.
The project is on schedule and about 70% complete, according to Harris and Associates Senior Construction Manager Mike Kasey, who is overseeing construction (Reiter, The Merced Sun-Star, 3/26).
Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego
The Service Employees International Union has withdrawn its contract to represent about 750 workers at Rady Children's Hospital to avoid a planned decertification election, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Wages and benefits for the workers will remain as they were under the SEIU contract, but the guaranteed 4% annual raise will be eliminated in favor of a potential annual merit raise that will be awarded on a sliding scale of up to 6%, according to Rady spokesperson Ben Metcalf (DarcÃ©, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/26).
Scripps Memorial Hospital, Encinitas
On April 2, Encinitas' planning commission will vote on final environmental documents and permits for Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas' $200 million expansion project, the Union-Tribune reports.
The proposed project would add 250,430 square feet of hospital space to the 333,380-square-foot facility, as well as a medical office building, a 278,671-square-foot parking garage and a helicopter pad.
The project also would retrofit existing hospital buildings to meet state seismic safety rules (Mannes, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/29).
Sutter Neuroscience Institute
The Sutter Neuroscience Institute is developing a clinic to treat and research autism in adults, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Starting in May, the Sutter Transition for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders clinic will be held once a month at an office in Sutter's Cancer Center, but physicians hope to increase the frequency to at least twice a month.
The clinic will start by focusing on 18- to 22-year-olds and will treat ongoing neurological and other problems found in people with autism, including digestive and sleep disturbance, and will build a database to facilitate research on the condition in adults.
It will accept all insurance coverage, including Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program (Dahlberg, Sacramento Bee, 3/30).
Temecula Regional Hospital, Rancho Springs Medical Center, Murrieta
Last week, state lawmakers and Temecula city officials launched separate campaigns to open Rancho Springs Medical Center's $53 million expansion and the newly built Temecula Regional Hospital, respectively, Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The lawmakers wrote California's health and human secretary, calling on her to permit the opening of the Rancho Springs expansion, which has been delayed while public health officials work with Southwest Healthcare System to resolve outstanding issues related to a pattern of rules violations at Rancho Springs and Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar.
In addition, Temecula's campaign encourages residents to lobby for the opening of the city's first hospital, also to be run by Southwest, by contacting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and public health officials (Horseman, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 3/25).
UC-Davis Medical Center
UC-Davis Medical Center researchers are creating a DUI-trauma training program to help hospital personnel recognize drug- or alcohol-impaired drivers seeking medical care, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Funding for the program will be provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety (Sacramento Bee, 4/1).
Valley Health System, Hemet
On March 30, Valley Health System Chair Darren Magness and other board members indicated they need to make "some business decisions" to generate funds and come out of bankruptcy, the Press-Enterprise reports.
The system, which operates Hemet Valley Medical Center and Menifee Valley Medical Center, has lost nearly $3 million since the end of last year (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 3/31).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.