Expansion will bring 136 new beds within reach of Santa Clarita.
This morning, the weather was gloomy and bleak, much like the outlook for health care in Los Angeles. However, despite the weather and the current hospital crisis in the southland, a ray of sunlight appeared in the form of Providence Holy Cross breaking ground on a new patient wing.
As hospitals close across the southland, Holy Cross is doing the opposite, as they have moved forward on plans to construct a $180 million dollar new wing that will provide 136 beds in varying capacities.
50 private rooms will be added, as well as 10 semi-private rooms. Also in the plans is a 12 bed neonatal ICU for premature babies. The new wing is scheduled to open in 2010, and will bring along an estimated 250 additional full time jobs.
And for good measure, Holy Cross has announced that the wing will be LEED certified, which measures environmentally conscious design. Only three other hospitals in the United States have achieved that level of certification.
Since the new patient wing will host added services as well as greater capacity, the impact on the region as a whole will be larger. That point was driven home by Sal Suarez, who was on hand for the ground breaking to share his story.
His worst nightmare came true a little over a year ago when he rushed his pregnant wife Tish to Holy Cross for medical treatment. Just 26 weeks into his wife’s pregnancy he was told that his son Donovan had to be delivered immediately. However, with time preventing any transport to a facility with a neonatal intensive care unit, baby Donavan was delivered at Holy Cross. He weighed just 1 pound 9 ounces. “Its one of those things where you always ask yourself, ‘what did we do wrong,’” Suarez told KHTS.
He recalled having mixed emotions, one as a proud father, but another as a frightened parent who didn’t know if his son was going to survive. After the birth, Donovan was rushed to Glendale Memorial Hospital’s neonatal intensive care (NIC) unit for treatment. What followed was 103 days of commuting from Santa Clarita to Glendale to look after his son. Donovan survived his long struggle and is currently doing very well.
Now, with Providence Holy Cross planning on 12 neonatal beds, Suarez is helping to spread the word. “There is an actual need for a NIC Unit,” he said. “To know that it’s coming here, it gives us hope for when we someday have another child.”
Fundraising efforts for the new wing are currently underway. Providence Health Systems will be picking up a majority of the $180 million dollar price tag, however the hospital needs to raise $15 million on their end.
To learn more about the project, visit www.providence.org/holycross.