Groundbreaking held for Beaumont Healthcare Center
Administrators pose for a picture on Thursday, September 25, prior to the groundbreaking ceremonies for the Beaumont Healthcare Center.
Officials of Loma Linda University Medical Center and faculty physicians from the School of Medicine joined forces with their counterparts from Beaver Medical Group and Redlands Community Hospital to break ground on the soon-to-be-constructed Beaumont Healthcare Center on Tuesday, September 25, 2007.
A variety of dignitaries spoke at the groundbreaking ceremonies, which were held inside a tent pavilion on the site. First up was Mel Sauder, JD, MBA, MDiv, senior vice president of health care business development at LLUMC. After welcoming the crowd, Dr. Sauder introduced speakers representing the partners in the project: Pat Gilbreath, chair of the board for Redlands Community Hospital; John Goodman, administrator of Beaver Medical Group; Roger Hadley, MD, dean of the LLU School of Medicine; and Ruthita Fike, MA, administrator and CEO of LLUMC. He also introduced the Honorable Jeff Fox, mayor of the city of Beaumont.
In his remarks, Dr. Sauder noted, “We are here to commemorate a watershed moment that will significantly enhance the delivery of health care to the families of the Inland Empire.”
He went on to note that the Beaumont Healthcare Center will offer comprehensive, high-quality medical services in an 85,000-square-foot facility on a seven-acre campus housing a medical office building, outpatient surgery center, and urgent care facility. Dr. Sauder stated completion is expected in 2009. He said the cost was anticipated to be $42 million.
Speaking on behalf of Redlands Community Hospital, Pat Gilbreath called the Beaumont Healthcare Center
“a collaborative medical facility that will enhance access to health care for residents of Beaumont, as well as the surrounding communities of Cherry Valley, Banning, Cabazon, Calimesa, Yucaipa, and Oak Glen.&r
A set of new gold painted shovels set the tone for the groundbreaking ceremony.
She went on to observe that “a large number of our patients at Redlands Community Hospital come from the communities east of Redlands,” and added that many of them “have indicated to us that more health care services are needed in this region. So it is our intent to respond to our patients’ requests.”
Beaumont mayor Jeff Fox talked of his experiences hunting game birds on the property where the new health care facility will be built. “This area right here was the finest quail, grouse, and pheasant land in Southern California,” he observed. “Ironically, it’s now being turned into one of the finest health care facilities in Southern California.”
Mr. Fox noted that the unprecedented growth of the area has created a demand for increased provision of health care services in Beaumont. He then introduced Frank Coe, police chief for the City of Beaumont; Alan Kapanicas, city manager; Jim Walling, president of the chamber of commerce; and several other local officials.
As representative of Beaver Medical Group, John Goodman said that the physicians of Beaver Medical Group have served the Inland Empire since 1945 and the people of the San Gorgonio Pass area for more than a decade through two medical buildings nearby. “This exciting project—the Beaumont Healthcare Center—introduces a new opportunity for Beaver Medical Group to serve the needs of our patients in this community,” he said.
H. Roger Hadley, MD, president of Loma Linda University Health Care, expressed his pleasure at representing more than 600 physicians from more than 20 different physician groups affiliated with Loma Linda University Medical Center. “By teaming with LLUMC, Redlands Community Hospital, and Beaver Medical
With the hard work of breaking the tough red soil of Beaumont behind them, officials from the four organizations sponsoring the soon-to-be constructed Beaumont Healthcare Center take a moment to savor their success. From left is Brian Bull, MD, chair and professor, department of pathology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine; John Goodman, administrator, Beaver Medical Group; Mel Sauder, JD, MDiv, MBA, vice president of business development, Loma Linda University Medical Center; Kathy Sankey-Robinson, vice president for business development and marketing, Redlands Community Hospital; Pat Gilbreath, chair of the board, Redlands Community Hospital, and member of the Redlands City Council; H. Roger Hadley, MD, president, Loma Linda University Health Care; Ruthita Fike, MA, CEO and administrator, Loma Linda University Medical Center; and Kevin Lang, MBA, executive vice president for finance and administration, and CFO, Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center.
Group,” he offered, “our physicians are actively participating in one of the most important new health care initiatives in the Inland Empire. The Beaumont Healthcare Center will enable us to bring the medical expertise of teaching-hospital faculty members to patients who may never have otherwise been able to access our services.”
The final speaker of the afternoon was Ruthita Fike. She noted that LLUMC has been focused on its mission of providing quality health care and bringing health, healing, and wholeness to humanity for more than 100 years.
“Because of our mission, and as the only teaching hospital in the Inland Empire,” she offered, “we have a social responsibility to provide medical care to those who need it.”
After acknowledging that “the Beaumont Healthcare Center collaboration … is our first significant venture to provide LLUMC services outside our immediate campus,” Ms. Fike concluded her comments by stating, “The investment by all the partners in time, talent, finances, and relationships has been significant. It attests and affirms our commitment to this important endeavor. And it will stand as testimony to the power of collaboration to further the ‘greater good.’”
At the end of her remarks, Ms. Fike directed everyone to the front of the property for the ceremonial groundbreaking. Despite the fact that staffers had softened the ground with a mixture of water and sand, the hard, red soil of Beaumont proved difficult to break. But with a healthy display of the dogged determination that has empowered every stage in the development of the Beaumont Healthcare Center to date, the persistent dignitaries dug in with a will and raised shovels full of ground to the applause of the appreciative crowd.
Construction is slated to begin next month.
By James Ponder