North Bay Business Journal

Monday, December 30, 2013, 6:30 am

2014 Trends: Health Care: Hospital construction to accelerate in 2014


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    NORTH BAY — A number of high-profile health care construction projects will reach significant milestones in 2014, chief among them the new $284 million Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa that’s expected to open by the end of the year.

    While hospital construction projects across the North Coast are numerous, Sutter’s new 82-bed facility, along with an adjacent 80,000 square-foot medical office building, is by far the most significant in both scope and cost.  Construction began in 2010, after a lengthy approval process that included a challenge from the Northern Sonoma County Healthcare District and the California Nurses Association. Sutter ultimately prevailed.

    Heading into the final stretch of construction, Sutter laid out a timeline for key milestones: the widening of Mark West Road and Old Redwood Highway will be completed by June, and a host of hospital construction milestones are expected through June, according to Lisa Amador, senior spokeswoman for Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa.

    The Offices of Statewide Health Planning and Development is expected to sign off fore beneficial occupancy by June 1, and staff will begin training on July 5.

    Final construction is expected for completion for August.

    By Sept. 20, the California Department of Public Health is expected to inspect and approve of the moving of patients, while the actual move of patients and start of hospital operations is anticipated for October 25.

    Sutter is reconstructing the hospital to replace the seismically unfit Sutter Medical Center on Chanate Road.

    Throughout 2013, a host of other projects were either completed or hit milestones, while 2014 will see the completion of numerous important projects.  

    The $130 million Herman Family Pavilion at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa is essentially finished, although the St. Joseph Health-owned hospital recently announced it would delay the official opening until February.   

    Underway since early 2011 after several delays, the three-story, 72,000 square-foot project moves the hospital’s six-room surgery center into a newly constructed wing of the hospital. It also expanded its intensive care unit from 16 to 20 beds and includes Napa’s first hybrid operating suite.

    Elsewhere in Napa County, Adventist Health is in the process of giving St. Helena Hospital Napa Valley a $20 million upgrade, expected to be completed in 2015.

    Adventist Health also owns Ukiah Valley Medical Center, which is now undergoing a $41 million expansion and upgrade to its emergency department and ICU. As part of its expansion, the 78-bed Ukiah hospital is seeking to advance its trauma designation from level lV to level lll, which requires dedicated trauma rooms.

    Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, another St. Joseph Health-owned hospital, is in the process of revamping its emergency department — the region’s busiest and only level ll trauma center — to the tune of $15 million. The renovation will add approximately 50 percent more capacity to the ED and will bring the total number of beds to 26 private rooms from 19, while a 27th bed will be reserved for triaging. The department will increase by about 4,200 square feet, and each room in the ED will increase from about 80 square feet to 120 square feet. Hospital officials anticipate the expansion to be completed by early 2014.

    In Marin County, an upgrade is underway at the 60-bed Kentfield Rehabilitation and Specialty Hospital. The $12 million rehab to the hospital, constructed in 1964, was initially pegged at $9 million, but edged up after running into a three-month delay stemming from unknown structural issues, according to Ann Gors, chief executive officer.

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