Providence Holy Cross Medical Center of Mission Hills, Calif., has completed a $180 million wing addition that will increase the hospital's capacity to 377 beds, from 254. The hospital opened the new wing July 13.
The expansion includes a women's pavilion, surgical suites, a gastroenterology lab and a chapel. A neonatal intensive care unit — a new service — will open later this summer.
The addition was necessary, according to hospital leaders, because of hospital overcrowding concerns in northern Los Angeles. In the mid-2000s, nearly a dozen Los Angeles health care facilities closed their doors. The region served by Holy Cross lost about 400 hospital beds. Before the expansion, Holy Cross' busy emergency department sometimes held patients in the hallways until they could be admitted to inpatient floors, a problem that has been ameliorated with the wing's opening. The hospital had been on diversion for about 300 hours a month prior to the addition's opening — now it is on diversion for about eight hours a month, according to spokesperson Patricia Aidem.
Larry Bowe, Holy Cross chief executive, said that it was important for the facility to address such concerns, particularly since it is a disproportionate share hospital with a mission to care for the vulnerable. Holy Cross is the only hospital in the area that has undertaken an expansion of this size. It has made a "huge dent" in the capacity issue, Aidem said.
Holy Cross launched a capital campaign in 2007 to support the addition and has raised more than $5 million.
The wing opening comes as Holy Cross celebrates its 50-year anniversary. The Sisters of the Holy Cross of South Bend, Ind., established the facility at the urging of San Fernando Valley, Calif., leaders. Ten years after its 1961 opening, Holy Cross was destroyed in an earthquake and was rebuilt. The hospital largely withstood a 1994 earthquake. The new wing has been designed to bear up under an 8.0 magnitude earthquake.
Holy Cross has been part of the Providence network since 1997.
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