St. Joseph Orange adding one campus, expanding three others

February 1, 2013

St. Joseph Health of Orange, Calif., is adding a campus in Victorville, Calif., to serve as a sister facility to the system's St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley, Calif. Additionally, three other St. Joseph hospitals in California are in the midst of — or have just completed — significant campus expansions.

The $261 million Victorville campus will open in 2016 with 128 beds — it will have the capacity to grow to 300 beds, with the future completion of shelled space. The Apple Valley hospital has 212 beds. Planners have yet to determine the particular mix of services that the Victorville hospital will offer. In time, the Victorville campus also will include a medical office building, ambulatory care center, spiritual care center and retail, hotels and recreation.

St. Mary administrators said the new campus will help relieve an anticipated hospital bed shortage in Southern California's High Desert. They said by 2016 that region's population is expected to grow to about 428,000, from about 380,000, with that growth driven by the region's relatively low housing and land costs and by anticipated improvements in the housing and commercial sectors.

On Nov. 11, another St. Joseph facility, St. Joseph Hospital of Eureka, opened a $145 million tower housing a preoperative department, surgical suite and operating rooms, intensive care, a progressive care area that serves as a step-down unit for the intensive care unit, and an expanded emergency department. The addition did not change St. Joseph's bed count of 146 but beds have been reallocated among departments. For example, the emergency department will more than double its bed count — to 20 beds, from eight — which will help to reduce wait times and improve patients' access to care, according to Sr. JoAnn Eannareno, CSJ, vice president of mission integration for St. Joseph Health of Humboldt County.

The primary impetus for the St. Joseph tower construction was a California law requiring all hospitals to comply with updated state seismic laws by next year. Also, St. Joseph was seeing increasing demand for health care services — the new tower is designed to help meet that demand through the reallocation of beds among departments, for a more efficient setup.

St. Joseph, and its sister hospital Redwood Memorial of Fortuna, Calif., have been conducting a capital campaign for the tower construction and for Redwood capital projects. Earlier this year, they met their $25 million fund-raising goal. Half of that amount came from a St. Joseph system match.

Also expanding is Queen of the Valley Medical Center of Napa. That facility plans to complete a $122 million diagnostic and surgical pavilion by the fall. The pavilion will include operating rooms, intensive care rooms and a laboratory. Queen of the Valley's bed count will rise to 215 from 191 with the pavilion's opening.

In addition to completing the project in order to comply with seismic requirements, the facility upgraded because the current operating rooms were too cramped to accommodate new technology.

Queen of the Valley has launched a $30 million fund-raising campaign to support the pavilion construction and other projects. It has raised $21.8 million, including an $11 million gift from the Tim Herman family. Napa's Herman launched a pollution control company and then headed its successor company after a merger. In 2005, his wife Peggy Herman suffered a fatal traumatic brain injury; and Tim Herman has since been working with Queen of the Valley to develop the neurosurgery services that were lacking in Napa at the time of his wife's accident. His gift includes a challenge grant benefiting a neuroscience center.

St. Joseph's third major expansion is a $300 million-plus patient tower slated for completion in fall 2014 at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton. The renovation will enable St. Jude to replace two aging patient towers that are not compliant with seismic requirements, and it will enable the facility to transition to all-private rooms. The new tower will have surgical suites with imaging capabilities. St. Jude's bed count will decrease from 384 to 359 with the project.


Copyright © 2013 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Copyright © 2013 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.