In the next 12 to 18 months, the North Bay will see significant hospital and health care construction, with at least half a dozen major projects entering key phases or reaching completion.
Chief among such projects is the new $284 million hospital being constructed just north of Santa Rosa by Sutter Health, which will enter the near-finishing stages for its planned opening in 2014.
The new hospital will replace Sutter's current facility on Chanate Road, which has been deemed seismically unfit, a theme affecting a number of other sizable North Bay projects in Marin and Sonoma counties, including Sonoma Valley Hospital's $39 million upgrade, Queen of the Valley's $122 million project and Marin General Hospital's plans to complete a $500 million rebuild of its 235-bed facility.
[caption id="attachment_34895" align="alignright" width="346"] An artist’s rendering of the new Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa under construction near the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts.[/caption]
While the latter project is tentatively scheduled for completion in 2020, the Marin Healthcare District, which owns the facility, hopes to have a $250 million general obligation bond on the November 2013 ballot that would cover most of the construction costs. The remaining costs of the project would be covered by general obligation bonds and a capital campaign.
In Napa, St. Joseph Health-owned Queen of the Valley expects to complete a $122 million seismic upgrade that includes a 72,000 square-foot, three-story acute-care center scheduled for completion in June 2013. It could begin seeing patients as soon as July or August pending approval by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.
The new wing, named the Herman Family Pavilion, will have six suites for operations, 16 pre- and post-operation bays, 20 private intensive care rooms and a clinical and pathology laboratory that can add space as needed.
Queen of the Valley said it will be among the first hospitals in California to receive the third-highest level of certification, or “gold,” under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) rating system for “green” health care facilities.
"It's on time and slightly under budget," hospital spokeswoman Vanessa DeGier said.
Additionally, St. Joseph Health-owned Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital resumed a $15 million upgrade to its emergency department that will be completed in 2014, and the health system is actively scouting locations to develop a medical fitness center similar to its Synergy Medical Fitness Center in Napa.
A building across from the hospital that formerly housed palliative and skilled nursing units is one such prospective location, although it would need a significant amount of construction to be comparable to the Napa location, adjacent to Queen of the Valley.
Santa Rosa Memorial's emergency department upgrade includes 26 private patient rooms, which will enable the hospital to treat more critically ill and injured patients while more quickly triaging and caring for patients with less severe conditions.
Other features include the increased number of patient treatment beds, from 19 to 26, upgraded patient bays to larger, private rooms, an enlarged waiting area with seating for 60 people and a larger reception area in the county's busiest ER, and two nursing station and two physician charting rooms.
Yet another project underway is the $20 million upgrade at St. Helena Hospital Napa Valley, which just recently entered in key phase and is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2014. That project consists of improvements to the hospital's orthopedics unit, mental health unit, medical-surgery unit, family birthing unit, the 12-bed intensive care unit and the post critical care.