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Construction of $1-Billion ‘Hospital of the Future’ Concludes

CO_Architects_PMC_Bonner_5805__033CPS_RESCONDIDO, Calif. — Construction of the new 11-story, 740,000-square-foot Palomar Medical Center has officially completed. The architecturally advanced, very green “Hospital of the Future” has been built and passed state inspection.

Nearly 6,000 people were involved in the construction phase, mostly local residents.

Los Angeles-based CO Architects designed the hospital building with significant input from physicians, staff and district leaders. The San Diego office of DPR Construction managed construction.

“The building is complete. We are able to start the next phase of transformation and that is moving from building to training our staff to deliver the highest quality of healthcare today,” says Michael H. Covert, president and CEO of Palomar Health. “There is much work ahead but I am proud of our efforts on behalf of the citizens of the communities we serve,” Covert adds.

The new 288-bed hospital will be named Palomar Medical Center. It had been referred to as Palomar Medical Center West. The hospital has attracted national attention because of is forward-looking design: patient-centric rooms, nursing alcoves outside each patient room, strong emphasis on new technology and sustainability and the use of natural light and greenery as part of the healing process. Patient rooms are flexible and will be able to accommodate various levels of acuity.

The existing Palomar Medical Center, which was built in 1950, will be renamed Palomar Health Downtown Campus and will specialize in women’s, children’s, behavioral health and rehabilitation services.

The $956-million hospital was financed in large part by Proposition BB, a $496-milliion bond measure that district voters overwhelmingly passed in 2004.

Over the next few months, staff will be trained, equipment and furniture will be installed and licensing will occur. Palomar Health will be seeking licensing to operate the new hospital through the California Department of Public Health. Palomar Health has set Aug. 19 as the targeted date for opening the new hospital and treating the first patients.

Palomar Health plans to hold a Community/Employee Grand Opening Celebration on July 28 at the new hospital at 2185 Citracado Parkway. The district employs about 4,000 people and is affiliated with more than 800 physicians.

Construction of the new hospital began in December, 2007. It is the largest construction project in the history of Escondido and for a few years, it was the largest hospital construction project in California.

Twenty-five million pounds of structural steel and 5-million-feet of electrical cable were used during construction. The hospital was designed to accommodate future advancements in technology and will support electronic medical record keeping and an array of wired and wireless technologies used by physicians and staff.

The new Palomar Medical Center features a 120-bed West Tower and 168-bed East Tower and will have the capacity to expand to 600 beds in the future.
The trauma center and emergency department are among the services moving from the existing downtown Palomar Medical Center to the new hospital. The expanded ED will have 44 treatment rooms, which is 19 more than available at the downtown hospital.

Image courtesy of Tom Bonner

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Posted May 8, 2012

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