California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of October 8, 2010
Children's Hospital Oakland
Next week, nearly 700 nurses plan to hold a three-day strike at Children's Hospital Oakland over a contract dispute, the Contra Costa Times reports.
Since May 19, the California Nurses Association and hospital management have been negotiating pay, benefits and other issues in the three-year labor contract. Hospital officials said the facility will remain open during the strike, adding that they have hired pediatric and specialty nurses to work with nonstriking staff (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 10/5).
Corcoran District Hospital
Corcoran District Hospital recently received a $12 million federal loan to begin replacing its 60-year-old facility to comply with state seismic safety standards, the Fresno Bee reports.
Hospital CEO Jonathan Brenn said the rural development loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will finance a new 17,000 square-foot outpatient facility, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2011.
The hospital also is using an $18 million bond to fund the construction of a new, two-story hospital that is expected to open by 2014 (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 10/5).
Northridge Hospital Medical Center
On Monday, Northridge Hospital Medical Center opened its new pediatric trauma center, which will offer 24-hour treatment for children with life-threatening injuries, the Los Angeles Times' "L.A. Now"Â reports.
The new facility is expected to serve as many as three million San Fernando Valley-area residents, according to hospital officials. The trauma center will employ physicians who specialize in fields such as anesthesia, emergency medicine, neurosurgery and orthopedics (Simmons, "L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 10/2).
Palmdale Regional Medical Center
The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development has issued a certificate of occupancy for Palmdale Regional Medical Center, Payers & Providers reports. OSHPD had delayed issuing the certificate while the hospital addressed ventilation issues, leaking windows and other construction problems.
Universal Health Services built the 127-bed hospital, which originally was slated to open in early 2009. Officials now say the facility will be operational by the end of 2010 (Payers & Providers, 10/7).
Sutter Capitol Pavilion, Sacramento
Sutter Health recently opened the new 209,781 square-foot Sutter Capitol Pavilion to provide outpatient care in Sacramento, the Sacramento Bee reports. The pavilion includes offices for 40 physician specialists, 128 exam and procedure rooms, 13 outpatient imaging rooms and four operating rooms.
The health system funded the $130 million building through donations and the sale of tax-exempt bonds. The new pavilion is part of Sutter Health's efforts to replace Sutter Memorial Hospital with a new medical campus that will include a remodeled cancer center, a general hospital, and a women's and children's medical center (Wong, Sacramento Bee, 10/6).
UC-Davis Medical Center, Sacramento
On Wednesday, UC-Davis Medical Center officially opened a new $425 million emergency department that replaces its old ED, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
The new 32,000 square-foot ED pavilion increases the hospital's ED beds from 42 to 68. The new ED pavilion is the largest construction project in the history of the UC-Davis Health System, officials said (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 10/1).
Just weeks before UC-San Francisco opens its $113 million stem cell research facility, financial pledges for the construction project are about $31 million short of the university's fundraising goal, the San Francisco Business Times reports. Meanwhile, the university is seeking nearly $300 million for two other projects: Â a neuroscience research center and a hospital complex for women, children and cancer patients.
University officials said they will not need to tap into other funds to cover the shortfall, but they could issue short-term commercial papers. If UCSF fails to raise the necessary funds over the next four years, the deficit could be added to the university's long-term debt, officials said (Leuty/Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 10/1).
Urgent Care and Primary Health Care Center, Pasadena
Tuesday marked the grand opening of Pasadena's new 10,000 square-foot Urgent Care and Primary Health Care Center, the Pasadena Star-News reports. The new facility will begin seeing its first patients on Oct. 18.
The city of Pasadena owns the center, which will be run by Huntington Medical Foundation under a five-year pilot project. The facility includes 11 examination rooms, procedure rooms, testing laboratories and mobile X-ray equipment (Williams, Pasadena Star-News, 10/5).
Vista Community Clinic, San Diego County
Vista Community Clinic is undertaking a $21 million expansion project that will include the construction of a 31,000 square-foot facility with 24 patient rooms, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Funding for the expansion project comes from an $11.4 million grant from the 2009 federal economic stimulus package and a $9.6 million tax-exempt bank loan. The project is expected to be completed by December of next year (Burgin, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/2).
Yosemite Medical Clinic
The clinic in Yosemite National Park could close on Dec. 31 if park officials are unable to find a new clinic operator to replace the hospital firm Tenet, the Fresno Bee reports.
Tenet has operated Yosemite Medical Clinic for 15 years, but faced significant financial losses during the past year. Park officials say that they are in discussions with two potential clinic operators and that a third group has expressed interest in running the clinic. They said a new contract could be signed by the middle of October (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 10/2).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.