California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of January 4, 2013
Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Children's Hospital Los Angeles has received an $11 million gift from the estate of filmmaker Billy Wilder and his wife Audrey Wilder to support the hospital's neurosurgery division, the Los Angeles Times' "L.A. Now" reports.
The Wilders were longtime supporters of the facility.
The funds will be used to create an endowed chair in the hospital's Division of Neurosurgery for general neurosurgical research and for the treatment of certain illnesses (Flores, "L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 12/19/12).
Corona Regional Medical Center
Corona city officials are reviewing plans for a major renovation and expansion of the 47-year-old, 160-bed Corona Regional Medical Center, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The timeframe for the project calls for an environmental study in 2013, site preparation in 2014 and completion of the final phase of construction in 2030. The updated hospital would include a:
- Six-level parking garage;
- Three-story and a five-story expansion wing;
- Medical office building; and
- New urgent care facility.
The expansion -- which would increase the number of hospital staff from 750 to 1,150 -- also would add Â 144 acute care beds, operating rooms, a laboratory, pharmacy and other support facilities (Parrilla, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 12/21/12).
Kaweah Delta Medical Center, Visalia
Beginning Jan. 7, security officers will screen emergency department patients and visitors at Kaweah Delta Medical Center for weapons, the Fresno Bee reports.
Dan Allain -- director of emergency and critical care services -- said the new security measure was not prompted by a specific incident and aims to increase general safety (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 1/2).
Kern Medical Center, Bakersfield
Last month, the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved a plan to use telehealth services at Kern County Medical Center, the Bakersfield Californian reports.
Under the initiative, hospital officials will use remote high-resolution video and audio technology to allow remote specialists to treat KMC patients.
Paul Hensler, CEO of the hospital, said that an agreement with the California Telehealth Network will allow the facility to have privacy-protected, medical-quality broadband connectivity.
The hospital will pay $625 annually for the telehealth service, and grant funding will cover the remaining cost (Mayer, Bakersfield Californian, 12/10/12).
Mark Twain St. Joseph's Hospital, San Andreas
Mark Twain St. Joseph's Hospital and its five clinics plan to lay off fewer than 20% of their workers on Jan. 7, according to hospital spokesperson Nicki Stevens, the Stockton Record reports.
Stevens said that she does not have an exact count for the number of layoffs. The hospital and its clinics employ about 300 people. According to Stevens, the layoffs are in response to reimbursement cuts in government health programs and an increase in uninsured patients (Nichols, Stockton Record, 12/18/12).
In related news, Mark Twain St. Joseph's Hospital has announced that it will open a new cancer treatment center in January (Stockton Record, 12/27/12).
St. John's Health Center, Los Angeles
The future of St. John's Health Center remains uncertain after its owners last month fired top hospital executives, as well as 15 of the hospital's 17 board members, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System in Denver owns the 266-bed hospital, which has been struggling financially following a $21.9 million loss in 2010 and $12.8 million loss for 2011.
Prior to their firing, hospital officials were considering selling the hospital to local health systems or joining a different Catholic hospital chain (Terhune, Los Angeles Times, 12/25/12).
Sutter Health and Hospital Corporation of America, San Francisco Bay Area
Thousands of nurses at nine San Francisco Bay area hospitals walked off the job on Dec. 24, 2012, as part of an ongoing dispute over wages, benefits and patient care issues, the AP/Modern Healthcare reports (AP/Modern Healthcare, 12/25/12).The strike involved members of the California Nurses Association who work at seven hospitals affiliated with Sutter Health and two facilities affiliated with Hospital Corporation of America (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 12/24/12). At three of the nine affected hospitals, nurses could not return to work for five days because the hospitals had signed contracts with temporary staffing firms (Selvam, Modern Healthcare, 12/27/12). 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.