Dignity Health California Hospital Medical Center has broken ground on a $215 million campus expansion and modernization project, the centerpiece of which is a new, 150,000-square-foot patient care tower that will greatly enhance capacity and accessibility for emergency, trauma and maternity services.
'This ambitious project will help ensure that California Hospital can continue to fulfill its mission of serving our community now and for many years to come,' CHMC President Margaret R. Peterson, Ph.D., told the gathering of local business, healthcare and civic leaders during the groundbreaking ceremony. 'This expansion will also enable the hospital to attract top-level talent plus accept more medical residents, nursing students and students from other disciplines, strengthening our role as a major teaching hospital.'
The first floor of the new tower will house larger, private, state-of-the-art emergency and trauma bays resulting in a 51 percent increase in the number of patient care areas. CHMC currently operates the busiest private trauma center in Los Angeles County, and its emergency department sees more than 81,000 visits annually in a space equipped to accommodate 55,000 visits. The new ED will streamline triage to evaluate patients more efficiently and effectively while providing dedicated space for trauma care with six large bays accommodating the most advanced equipment along with an imaging suite equipped with a CT scanner and other radiology equipment.
CHMC is also one of the busiest maternity departments in Los Angeles, with more than 3,400 babies born at the hospital each year. The new tower will house an enhanced neonatal intensive care unit with private rooms and labor and delivery suites including midwifery services, in addition to, antepartum and postpartum services. These new maternity facilities will bring new technologies, nursing efficiencies and family-bonding opportunities to families. The tower will feature private rooms able to accommodate multiple births, a water-birthing suite, private postpartum rooms permitting family to stay with moms and babies overnight, private triage rooms where moms-to-be can be evaluated and cared for, and separate antepartum rooms providing comfort for patients who need close monitoring prior to delivery.
Additionally, the expansion will include a new pediatrics unit on the sixth floor of the existing Tibbitts Tower, an emergency mental health observation center adjacent to the new ED, and a new multi-level parking structure with meeting and retail space on the ground floor.
'Los Angeles is where the world comes to innovate—and every day we are harnessing the power of technology to save and improve lives,' said Mayor Eric Garcetti. 'California Hospital Medical Center has worked for decades to help Angelenos grow and heal, and the new patient care tower will strengthen healthcare and create good, middle-class jobs for generations to come.'
The $215 million campus expansion is being funded through a loan of $165 million from Dignity Health and a capital campaign seeking local philanthropic investment of $50 million, the largest in the hospital’s history.
The capital campaign is being co-chaired by Robert Margolis, M.D., a retired physician and longtime member of the CHMC Foundation board of directors, and Wayne Ratkovich, founder and CEO of The Ratkovich Company, a Los Angeles development firm focused on developments that improve the quality of urban life. Dr. Margolis and Ratkovich spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony.
'As the only hospital located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, California Hospital is uniquely positioned to care for a very diverse and underserved population,' said Ratkovich. 'At the same time, the hospital serves as a major economic engine and employer in downtown Los Angeles, an area of our city that continues to enjoy a renaissance of culture and commerce. It is now time—and vitally important—to expand and modernize the hospital’s capabilities.'
'We are incredibly thankful to those who have already stepped forward with generous gifts to support this historic campaign that advances healthcare for the city of Los Angeles,' said Dr. Margolis. 'Through community support, together we will make this dream a reality.'
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