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Move to West Hills Bringing Expansion for Burn Center

Grossman Burn Center officials said they will be able to expand their facility once it relocates from its 40-year-old home at Sherman Oaks Hospital to West Hills Hospital & Medical Center. Dr. Peter H. Grossman, co-director of the Grossman Burn Centers, explained that limited resources at Sherman Oaks Hospital had impeded the burn center’s ability to grow in recent years. “This will be a very emotional move,” he said. Since its founding in 1969, Sherman Oaks Hospital had been Grossman Burn Centers’ flagship location and the place where Grossman spend much of his childhood watching his father, founder Dr. Richard Grossman, treat burn patients. Later, he would also call Sherman Oaks Hospital home during 15 years of private practice. In the course of four decades, both he and his father formed strong bonds with the hospital’s staff, he said. “But there are times when you reach a fork in the road and you know you have to go in one direction to continue to grow, and I feel we’ve reached that fork in the road. I’m very excited about what the future holds.” Sherman Oaks Hospital was acquired in 2006 by Prime Healthcare Services Inc. and changes brought forth by the acquisition resulted in tightened resources at the facility. At the new location in West Hills, where the burn unit will have access to the hospital’s staff, equipment and facilities, Grossman expects the burn center will increase patient load by 15-20 percent just in the first year. “It will allow us to grow as a unit from a technological standpoint and a research standpoint”, he said. Additionally, the center will also profit from a greatly expanded specialized medical staff at West Hills Hospital. “The main factor was the willingness of West Hills Hospital to invest in the Burn Center and invest in the community in a way that allows us to continue our legacy and continue our goal to improve,” he said. Beneficial for both The move will prove mutually beneficial, said Beverly Gilmore, West Hills chief executive. The burn center’s “long prestigious history and reputation” will be an important addition to West Hills Hospital, she said. “The medical staff is all very pleased that they’re coming, we’re looking forward to having them here.” West Hills Hospital is owned by Tennessee-based HCA Inc., also known as the Hospital Corporation of America, which owns nine facilities in California. In recent years West Hills has begun a transformation into a more regional hospital that provides high-end services, and the addition of the burn center speaks to the upward trajectory, said Gilmore. The burn center will move to its new location just as the West Hills Hospital & Medical Center is completing a $60 million expansion, projected to open in the spring of 2010. The expansion includes a new emergency department, intensive care unit and outpatient services. The expansion will give West Hills Hospital the largest emergency department and intensive care unit in the San Fernando Valley. The addition of the burn center will require initial investments in infrastructure and technology from West Hills Hospital, said Gilmore, among them installing equipment for hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Relocating the burn center out of Sherman Oaks Hospital had been in the works for a year and a half, said Grossman, who emphasized it was their priority to remain in the San Fernando Valley. “To leave this community would have been a disservice; it would have been a very painful separation.” The for-profit organization has also been looking to grow outside the Valley. Grossman Burn Centers, which has a location in Santa Ana, opened a site in Bakersfield at the San Joaquin Hospital two months ago. A burn center is scheduled to open in Lafayette, La. in mid September. Looking nationally Grossman Burn Centers is looking at demographic areas around the country that call for a burn unit, among them Arizona, Texas and northern California, for possible future sites, he said. Dr. Prem Reddy, Chairman of the Board of Prime Healthcare Services, which owns Sherman Oaks Hospital, wished the burn center well at its new location. “We are very happy that we had a long and beneficial relationship with the Grossman Burn Center. We wish them all the best at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center,” he said in a statement. “We are happy that the expert services of Drs. Grossman will remain available to the people of the San Fernando Valley.” The Grossman Burn Center, renowned for treating high-profile burn victims and offering services that include acute care, reconstruction, rehabilitation and psychological counseling, is the only burn unit in the San Fernando Valley, and one of only three in Los Angeles County along with Torrance Memorial Burn Center and L.A. County Burn Center. The Center, known for its treatment of firefighters and children, has also treated several celebrity patients. Most recently rocker Travis Barker, drummer for the band Blink-182, and the late celebrity disc jockey Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein, were treated there.

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