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TODAY news for Thursday, May 12, 2008

Loma Linda University Medical Center news

LLUMC announces plans to purchase California Heart and Surgical Hospital

Loma Linda University Medical Center announced plans to purchase a new medical facility located in close proximity to its main campus.

Final terms of the sale are expected to be complete within the next few weeks.

The 66,000-square-foot facility currently known as the California Heart and Surgical Hospital began original construction in 2005. Completion of current construction is anticipated later this spring, at which time LLUMC will be the sole owner and operator. The complete range of medical services to be offered by the facility is still being finalized.

“After considering all the factors, the purchase of this facility just makes sense. It allows us to provide seamless care and greater access for our patients sooner than we had hoped,” says Ruthita Fike, chief executive officer for Loma Linda Univer­sity Medical Center.

Ms. Fike says that the timing of this purchase is advantageous on a number of levels. Plans are currently underway to begin seismic-retrofitting in the Medical Center’s existing operating room suites, which would create logistical challenges for patients and physicians. “The fact that we can have this new facility available now will make the impact of the seismic retrofitting much less distracting,” says Ms. Fike.

The new hospital will offer patients 28 new beds, six state-of-the-art surgical suites, two cardiac catheterization labs, two procedure rooms for endoscopic procedures and pain management, and 24 post-anesthesia care units.

LLUMC plans to use the facility to expand its services in the way that will best meet the needs of the community.

According to Ms. Fike, “Our earlier concerns about this facility are no longer relevant because as owners, we will now be able to make the services offered available to all patients—not just a few. Our worries about this facility from the start have been that only a small, exclusive group of patients would have access, and that’s contrary to our mission of making care available to all— regardless of their ability to pay.”

The new medical center will open for patient care sometime later this year. LLUMC is currently determining which medical services will be housed in the facility and is planning for a name change that will accurately reflect its ownership of the new hospital.

“We’re excited about what this will mean for our community,” says Ms. Fike. “It gives us a chance to meet our needs for growth and expansion as we strive to fulfill our faith-based mission, ‘to make man whole’ by promoting healthful living and increasing quality of life.”

Contributed report

TODAY news for Thursday, May 12, 2008