HOSPITALS: Santa Monica OKs Comprehensive Expansion Plan
The Santa Monica City Council approved plans May 26 for a $270 million expansion of St. John's Health Center. By 2008, a new 150-bed facility will replace the 56-year-old hospital, which was "badly damaged" in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. The plan, approved by a 6-to-1 vote, outlines development to take place over the next 55 years, including construction of a wellness center and a 140,000-square-foot expansion to the John Wayne Cancer Institute (Los Angeles Times, 5/28).
Quake-Ravaged Clinic Moves Into Improved Temp. Site
The Mid-Valley Comprehensive Health Center, the largest county health clinic in the valley, on Wednesday dedicated new temporary quarters in a six-story building on Van Nuys Blvd. The hospital was "destroyed" by the Northridge quake, forcing hospital staff to work from "tents and trailers." Patient visits to the center dropped sharply after the damage, from 94,000 visits in the fiscal year prior to the quake to 32,000 last year. The center provides low-income patients with primary care, ambulatory care, women's health services and immunizations. The new temporary facility will allow the clinic to restore "a number of services" that were discontinued after the quake, "including X-rays and ultrasounds." A new building, under construction at the site of the damaged hospital, is expected to be complete by February 2000, according to a hospital official (Baker, Los Angeles Times, 5/28).