Hospital News Roundup for September 7
Officials at Children's Hospital Oakland on Wednesday unveiled a $700 million expansion plan to build a new facility, the Oakland Tribune reports.
The construction plan would increase the hospital's capacity from 171 beds to about 250 private patient rooms and would be completed by 2013 to meet the state's deadline for seismic safety standards.
Financing for the plan will come from:
- $173 million in past and future state bonds;
- $150 million from private donations; and
- $300 million from a county parcel tax expected to be on the February 2008 ballot (Metinko, Oakland Tribune, 9/6).
Kaiser Permanente last week began construction on a new hospital that will specialize in treating cancer patients, the San Francisco Examiner reports. The facility is expected to open at the end of 2008.
The hospital is expected to treat 1,000 patients annually, including 200 patients with brain cancer and brain tumors.
The facility will provide radiation therapy, as well as stereotactic radiosurgery, a new method of treating certain tumors in a single session with a focused beam of radiation (Winegarner, San Francisco Examiner, 8/30).
Los Angeles County's Board of Supervisors on Tuesday criticized county health director Bruce Chernof for delays in transferring employees from Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital after its closure Aug. 10, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Supervisors authorized county officials to inform about 500 workers of their new assignments at other hospitals but questioned why officials still have not found assignments for about 750 employees.
Chernof told the supervisors that he wanted "to make sure that when we move people, we move the vast majority of people to the right place the first time."
Meanwhile, county health officials hired consultants to determine the most efficient staffing levels for the hospital's urgent care center and clinics, which will remain open (Rosenblatt, Los Angeles Times, 9/5).
In other King-Harbor news, county health officials launched a $300,000 bilingual campaign last week to inform residents living near the hospital that its emergency department has closed, the Times reports.
The campaign includes:
- A mailing to 300,000 households;
- Radio spots in English and Spanish that will air for six weeks; and
- Ads in newspapers, buses, bus shelters and grocery stores (Los Angeles Times, 8/29).
The Redwood City Council approved seismic retrofitting plans for Sequoia Hospital that include a new medical office building and an expansion of services, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The project will include:
- An expanded emergency department;
- Wireless technology for monitoring vital signs and communicating between patients and staff; and
- Larger, private patient rooms to help improve infection control and allow overnight family visits.
Hospital officials said construction is expected to begin in mid-November and will be completed by 2012 (Coté, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/29).
St. John's Regional Medical Center on Aug. 24 reopened after a 10-day closure for mold fumigation, the Times reports.
St. John's officials said they are confident that the fumigation eradicated the mold problem from the 265-bed facility.
Patient volume typically is low in August, which helped simplify the process of transferring patients to other facilities, according to the Times. Sixteen ambulances that would normally bring patients to St. John's were diverted to other hospitals during the closure, Michael Murray, hospital president, said (Griggs, Los Angeles Times, 8/25).