ST. HELENA -- Adventist Health's St. Helena Hospital Napa Valley campus is in the midst of a $20 million upgrade that will both add capacity and bring much-needed enhancements to patient care, hospital officials said.

The project, known as Project Transform, broke ground about a year ago but will soon enter a new, more rigorous phase, according to Tricia Williams, former vice president of operations and planning and now the regional vice president for behavioral medicine and population benefit.

"Our current facility, which was built in 1948, was badly in need of refreshing," Ms. Williams said. "We're a highly rated hospital but we don't have a modern environment."

That will soon change, with the project scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2014.

"The main portion of the project is starting now," Ms. Williams said.

Among the areas of improvement are upgrades to the orthopedics unit, mental health unit, medical-surgery unit, family birthing unit, the 12-bed intensive care unit and the post critical care unit, Ms. Williams said.  The project does not add space and all of the improvements are within the current footprint of the campus.

A new main lobby has already been completed and was named the Joseph Phelps Foyer, in honor of Mr. Phelps' $1 million donation toward the project. Nearly half of the project is being funded through donations raised by the St. Helena Hospital Foundation, which raised $9.3 million.

"We really needed to update our facilities," Ms. Williams said. "Through this gift we will be able to provide a modern healing environment for our patients and families that matches the excellent care provided by St. Helena Hospital physicians and staff."

The project will also add capacity to 130 beds of the hospital's 151 total beds, creating more room for physicians and nurses while improving the patient and family experience.

The project in St. Helena is just one of many for Adventist Health's Northern California Network, which includes hospitals from Vallejo to Mendocino County. All told, the Roseville-based health system is spending about $100 million on construction projects, including revamped emergency departments at  St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake and Ukiah Valley Medical Center, as well as a complete $62 million rebuild of Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits.

In St. Helena, Ms. Williams said the upgrades are focused on improving the patient experience by modernizing an aging facility.

"This one is primarily about the patient experience and the healing environment. We feel that's a really important component of the patient experience," Ms. Williams said. "One thing that is really great is that, in this economic environment, we are building and expanding."

The contractor is San Francisco-based Herrero Contractors, Inc. and the architect is Sacramento-based Dreyfus & Blackford.

The design committee for the project was made up of St. Helena Hospital foundation board members Martha May, Val Montgomery, Elaine Sczuka and Robin Lail.