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.
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.
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.”