California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of February 8, 2013
Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland
Last week, officials at Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland announced that the hospital is closing its cytogenetics laboratory, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
The lab studies human chromosomes to detect inheritable diseases.
Erin Goldsmith -- hospital spokesperson -- said that the lab's volume has fallen by 69% over the past two years and that "the declining volume in this very small service could not justify the costs" (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 2/1).
Community Hospital of San Bernardino; St. Bernardine Medical Center
Last week, about 100 nurses and other employees of Community Hospital of San Bernardino and St. Bernardine Medical Center picketed over staffing and procedural changes that took effect on Sunday, the San Bernardino Sun reports.
Health care providers who participated in the event said they were protesting a decision to shift all nursing aids who work night shifts to day shifts, which could leave more work for registered nurses who work at night. They also picketed over a new procedure to require RNs to leave their posts and transport emergency department patients.
In December 2012, a spokesperson for the two hospitals said that the staffing decisions were necessary because of the recession, cuts to government insurance programs and lower patient volume (Steinberg, San Bernardino Sun, 1/31).
Community Memorial Hospital, Ventura
Last month, officials at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura decided to amend protocols so that within the next few weeks, hospital staff will begin allowing mothers to hold infants soon after most routine caesarean sections, the Ventura County Star reports.
Previously at the hospital, mothers have waited for several hours after c-sections to hold their infants.
Research finds that infants who have contact with mothers soon after birth have better temperature regulation, more stable blood sugar levels and increased rates of breast-feeding (Guzik, Ventura County Star, 2/1).
Temecula Valley Hospital
Last week, officials at Temecula Valley Hospital said that construction on the 140-bed, five-story facility now is 70% complete, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
Darlene Wetton -- the hospital's CEO -- said that the hospital likely will hold a job fair during the third week of February. She said the fair will lead to the hiring of about 25 employees, who will join the current staff of 16 people.
According to Wetton, the hospital expects to hold two more job fairs in the next few months that will bring in a total of about 250 workers.
Officials expect the facility to open during the summer (Rodriguez, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 2/3).
Ventura County Medical Center
On Tuesday, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors approved a $360 million bond issue -- the largest in county government history -- that mostly will go toward building a 120-bed wing at the Ventura County Medical Center, the Ventura County Star reports.
The county plans to allocate $305 million toÂ building theÂ new wing.Construction is scheduled to begin this summer and likely will be completed in 2017 (Wilson, Ventura County Star, 2/5). 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.