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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Hum of Construction Heard at Valley Hospitals

Valley-area hospitals are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on construction projects to upgrade their operations. One notable project that will break ground in the second half of this year is at Providence Tarzana Medical Center, No. 8 on the Business Journal’s list of local hospitals ranked by staffed beds (see page 14). The hospital will spend more than half a billion dollars to add a new five-story patient tower, larger emergency room, additional parking structure and other updates to improve technology and energy efficiency throughout its campus. Providence Tarzana is one of three Valley hospitals under the Providence St. Joseph Health system umbrella, which formed last year through a merger of Renton, Wash.-based Providence Health & Services and St. Joseph Health System of Irvine. The other two Valley locations are Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, No. 2 on the Business Journal’s list, and Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, No. 4, which just hired a new chief executive, Kelly Linden. Erik Wexler, regional chief executive of the health system, said the merger was a good fit as both organizations have similar missions. “We are beginning to share best practices across Orange County, High Desert and L.A. County, where all of our hospitals (in the Southern California region) are located,” he explained. “One of our most important initiatives underway is our commitment to investing in mental health services.” Providence St. Joseph is currently assessing mental health programs it can expand within the hospital system and then later this year, in the larger community. It plans on spending $30 million over a three-year period on this psychiatric services push. Adventist Health, which operates Glendale Adventist Medical Center, No. 3 on the Business Journal’s list, and Simi Valley Hospital, No. 15, is another hospital system focused on development. Earlier this year, Simi Valley Hospital unveiled its $41 million Thakkar Family Emergency Pavilion, which added 5,500 square feet to the emergency department, eight additional patient rooms, a two-bay triage area, a bereavement room and a paramedic radio room. In addition, the health care facility plans to change its name to Adventist Health Simi Valley. Glendale Adventist will become Adventist Health Glendale as part of the system’s efforts to transform from a group of autonomous hospitals into an integrated organization. Dignity Health of San Francisco made a similar change last year when it rebranded each of its Valley-region locations in Camarillo, Glendale and Northridge to include Dignity Health in the name. For instance, Northridge Hospital, No. 11 on the Business Journal’s list, is now Dignity Health Northridge Hospital Medical Center. Last year, Adventist Health adopted one mission statement for all of its hospitals and is currently identifying best practices throughout the system to implement in other locations. “By 2020, our goal is to care for 2 million lives across the system,” said Roland Fargo, president of medical services network for Adventist Health’s Southern California Region. Currently, 250,000 patients are within the system, which plans on adding more via additional construction. In July, Adventist Health will open a large urgent care and primary care facility in Moorpark to better serve an area where patients typically travel to Simi Valley or Thousand Oaks for many of their health care needs. The No. 1 hospital on the Business Journal’s list is Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, which is part of HCA Healthcare of Nashville, along with West Hills Hospital & Medical Center, No. 7 on the list. Los Robles and West Hills don’t have the same degree of integration as Adventist or Dignity but do refer patients to each other for different specialty services. Los Robles Chief Executive Natalie Mussi said the sister hospitals are looking for other ways to collaborate in the future. Los Robles is expanding its Rehabilitation Center in Westlake Village, which should be ready in the first quarter of 2018. The unit will double its number of beds to 40, which will help support the hospital’s trauma and stroke programs. The next area the hospital will be looking to improve will be in its emergency department, Mussi said. “Emergency services is one of the areas where we haven’t had any construction, so we are looking at it as a potential growth area as we continue to focus on our service lines, such as oncology, cardiology and women and children’s services,” she said. Other hospitals in the region with construction projects include Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia, No. 12 on the Business Journal’s list, which is building a new $151 million patient tower; Palmdale Regional Medical Center, No. 18 on the list, which opened a Rehabilitation Institute in January; and Dignity Health St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo, No. 19, which is constructing a new $80 million patient addition, likely to open in spring 2018.

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