Author Topic: St. Mary's new Victorville hospital on track  (Read 856 times)

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Offline BostonBob

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St. Mary's new Victorville hospital on track
« on: Jan 21, 12, 05:03:22 PM »
St. Mary's new Victorville hospital on track
Trauma center, recreation areas, spiritual center among features

January 21, 2012 12:22 PM

RENE DE LA CRUZ, Special to the Daily Press

St. Mary Medical Center's new Victorville Oasis complex is on track for a proposed 2016 opening, despite talk that the $260.8 million dollar project had been shelved.

“We’ve heard rumors that our interest in purchasing Victor Valley (Community) Hospital put the new Victorville hospital on hold,” said Larry Woodard, vice president of St. Mary Medical Foundation. “Nothing could be further from the truth. All systems are go for the new hospital.”

Situated along Amargosa Road, just north of Main Street, the 249,205-square-foot hospital will include 30 emergency medical bays, a helipad, two trauma rooms, four operating rooms, a large labor and delivery department, chapel and dining facilities.

“We’ll also be the only trauma center between Las Vegas and the San Bernardino area,” said Kevin Mahany, director of advocacy and healthy communities. “Time is critical when it comes to caring for the severely injured.”

The Oasis facility will also be more than just a hospital, according to Wesley Okamoto, an assistant vice president with St. Mary’s parent company, St. Joseph Health System. Okamoto said the new complex will encompass the “Oasis for Health and Wellness” concept of serving the whole person.

“We’re looking at a hospital and medical facilities surrounded by meditation areas, a church, recreation area, restaurants, hotel, retail units and a spiritual center,” Okamoto said. “The Heritage Path will also give us a chance to tell the story of our Catholic ministry and its history.”

The grading and permit process should begin in March, Okamoto said, with hospital construction slated to start January 2014. Once completed, the four-story hospital will bring an additional 128 beds to the High Desert, which is in dire need of more space.

“Per 1,000 people, the national average is about 2.7 beds, California sits at about 1.9 beds and the High Desert has 1.1 beds,” Okamoto said. “With an increase in population and growing health care needs, it is vital that we provide for our community.”

St. Mary’s emergency center in Apple Valley was built to handle 30,000 patients a year, but Woodard said it’s currently seeing close to 80,000, with patients waiting hours to be seen. Because capacity and necessary services are not adequately provided, Okamoto said one-third of High Desert residents are served by hospitals down the hill.

“The new hospital will be built with the flexibility for future expansion,” Woodard said. “When the time is right, we’ll be able to increase our capacity and handle up to 300 beds.”

The entire project will be built in stages, Okamoto said, with roads and infrastructure set in place prior to construction of the hospital and two medical buildings.

“Once everything is in place, the new facility will have 900 full-time employees and volunteers,” he said. “The contractor who built Desert Valley Hospital will handle the new project, but we plan to have as much local involvement as possible.”

Woodard said he couldn’t elaborate on St. Mary’s current negotiations to buy the bankrupt Victor Valley Community Hospital for $35 million, but he told the crowd of Apple Valley Rotarians gathered for lunch Thursday that the process was “moving along.”

Rene De La Cruz may be reached at

St. Mary's Victorville hospital: By the numbers:

Hospital design

• $260.8 million approved budget

• 249,205-square-foot hospital

• 128 beds upon completion

• 300 beds in future expansion

• 4 floors

• 2 trauma rooms

• 60 surgery rooms

• 30 emergency treatment bays

• 16 ICU/CCU rooms

• 4 operating rooms

• 13 labor and delivery rooms

• 18 NICU rooms

• 2 C-section rooms

• 34 post-partum rooms

• 46.7 percent of site dedicated to health care

• 6.4 percent for spiritual facilities

• 47 percent for commercial

Need for new local hospital

• 33.8 percent of High Desert residents seek medical attention down the hill

• 42 percent predicted population growth by 2018

• 1.1 beds for every 1,000 High Desert residents

• 1.9 beds for every 1,000 Californians

• 2.7 beds for every 1,000 Americans

Projections for Apple Valley and Victorville Campus in 2019

• 328 licensed beds

• 2,340-plus employees

• 323-plus admitting physicians

• 225 patient average daily census

• 216,485 overall outpatient visits

• 94,000 annual adult and pediatric emergency rooms visits

• 350 visits to trauma center annually

• 40 percent market share

Offline Cigar_and_Scotch

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Re: St. Mary's new Victorville hospital on track
« Reply #1 on: Jan 24, 12, 05:55:49 PM »
This is certainly some of the best news that the High Desert has had in a while, and us Wrightwoodians will profit greatly from it.  I've always been nervous about living so far away from a trauma center.  Anyone in Wrightwood or the High Desert who gets into serious trouble has to be airlifted out to Loma Linda, the only Level 1 trauma center in SB County.  This is a considerable distance, even considering the speeds that medivac helicopters can travel at.  The fact that St. Mary's will have a trauma center only 19 miles away will be a big deal.

Even for less serious emergencies and general, non-emergency care, having a hospital this close to Wrightwood (apparently just north of the Super Target center in Phelan, just off the 15 on Amargosa) will be a huge help.  Normally one can drive there in 25-30 minutes or so from Wrightwood.  I think it is precarious as well as inconvenient that we currently live 45 minutes away from the nearest hospital, so this will be a big improvement.

Offline ForestGal

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Re: St. Mary's new Victorville hospital on track
« Reply #2 on: Jan 24, 12, 07:06:07 PM »
I agree, C&S.  Having worked at St. Mary in Apple Valley for several years, and retiring from there a few years ago, that hospital is still the place I want to go to if I need help.  For one thing, I know the hospital, and so many folks I worked with are still there, so familiarity is huge sometimes when you are sick.

But, this new one will be more convenient, and I can't help but wonder if any of the current staff at the AV location, who may live closer to the new one, will transfer there?

Maybe I'll never have to go to the hospital again so it won't matter anyway!    :2thumbsup: