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Tarzana Hospital on Schedule for 2023 Debut

Construction of  the Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center, a $644 million joint  venture between Providence Health  & Services  and Cedars-Sinai,  is  on track to be  completed by 2023.  

Work on the  medical  center began in  2017  to widen access to care for residents  and meet state seismic requirements in buildings.  The seismic retrofit of the medical center was

 completed in  July.  

During the construction project, called Tarzana Reimagined, parts of the medical center are still used for patient care. Construction is slated to complete a new main lobby  by June 2022 and a patient tower by 2023. The patient  tower  topped out in November 2020 and  will have a  first floor  that  features  a  32-bed emergency room.  Per the joint venture agreement, 49 percent of the project’s  bill is funded by Cedars-Sinai  and the remainder by Providence.  

“We are currently on schedule, which is pretty exciting for us,” said Nicholas Lymberopoulos, the medical center’s chief executive. “We do anticipate opening our brand-new lobby in June of next year and completing the tower in October of next year.”

He added the first patients should stay in the tower by January 2023.

Lymberopoulos  took over as chief executive midway through the project. He became chief executive in March, having previously  served as chief operating officer for four years. He has more than 28 years of experience in health care with specializations in finance and operations.  

The  medical center’s campus  is  located  between Burbank Boulevard and Clark Street  next to  the 101 freeway.  

New features

Lymberopoulos  said that in addition to the completion of the seismic retrofitting,  another  milestone recently came in the form of a traffic light, crosswalk and turn lane  into the campus  that were constructed on Burbank Boulevard. The additions allow for  eased traffic and enable  patients,  employees,  and visitors to safely  enter the campus.  

Lymberopoulos  said the changes were particularly important  as the  street’s prior format was not  that safe for cars exiting the campus.  Sidewalk pavement for the hospital’s other entrance on Clark Street was also redone.  

Inside the medical center, the upgrade will include state-of-the-art equipment in cardiology, making the campus what Lymberopoulos called “the heart center of the valley” by 2023.

The opening of five new operating rooms, including a hybrid operating room that combines imaging technology and a traditional OR, is planned for 2025.  Lymberopoulos  wrote in a follow-up email that the hospital will have  “state-of-the-art imaging equipment; MRI, CTs, and nuclear medicine in 2023 and 2025.” He added that the medical center,  which is  currently stroke certified, intends to become a comprehensive stroke center in 2025.    

Building safety

Despite the impact of COVID-19, the project has not suffered significant slowdowns as the virus has not presented much of an obstacle during construction.

The largest challenge,  Lymberopoulos  said, has been the scale  of the overall project and the number of  simultaneous  facilities being built. Of the 400 on-site construction workers on the project, 340  are in the field and 60 are in offices.  

“Organizing it, keeping operations running at the high level that we expected and (providing) to our community has been a huge challenge, which we think we’ve done really well,”  Lymberopoulos  said.  

Construction crews have accumulated more than  384,000 hours  of work thus far and recorded just one safety incident, according to  Lymberopoulos, who added that the hospital is proud of the  crews  and the  safety procedures they have taken.  

Lymberopoulos said a return on investment for the project would be keeping high quality care local.

“To me,  it’s  providing  the destination hospital in our community,  one  where we could  provide  care in the San Fernando Valley  and  West San Fernando Valley specifically,”  Lymberopoulos  said.  He added that a priority for the medical center is giving people a sense of comfort knowing that they do not have to go beyond the Hollywood  hills to receive “the quality of care they desire.”  

Antonio Pequeño IV
Antonio Pequeño IV
Antonio “Tony” Pequeño IV is a reporter covering health care, finance and law for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. He specializes in reporting on some of the biggest names in the Valley’s biotechnology sector. In addition to his work with the Business Journal, Tony has reported with BuzzFeed News on the unsupervised use of Clearview AI, a controversial facial recognition technology. Tony, who also conducts freelance reporting, graduated from the USC’s Master of Science in Journalism program in 2021. He is in his fifth year as a journalist as of 2021.
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