Tour new hospital on July 28
By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
Locals will get their first up-close look at Palomar Health’s new medical center in Escondido during a 4-9 p.m. Saturday, July 28 community celebration.
Officials expect the new $956 million Palomar Medical Center to be open to patients starting Aug. 19. But before that happens, a free party, dubbed “A Celebration of Health,” will be held at the new medical center, 2185 W. Citracado Parkway in Escondido.
During the party, attendees can go on self-guided tours; listen to physician panels; watch technology demonstrations; enjoy live music and kids’ activities; participate in free health screenings like blood pressure, body composition, grip strength, skin checks and stroke-risk assessment; and look at exhibits. There will be free food and drinks, and Taste of North County from 6-8 p.m. For event details go to www.PalomarHealth.org/opening.
Due to the large crowd expected, there will be free off-site parking and shuttle service at Palomar Health San Marcos, 120 Craven Road in San Marcos; Cal State University San Marcos, 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road in San Marcos; and the following Escondido intersections — Citracado Parkway and Andreasen Drive, Enterprise Street and Andreasen Drive, and Auto Park Way and Andreasen Drive. Golf carts will also provide free shuttle support along W. Citracado Parkway.
Breeze Route 353 will transport people to the event for $1.75. The last shuttle leaves at 10 p.m. The Breeze can be accessed from the following Escondido locations — Nordahl Marketplace, corner of Highway 78 and Nordahl Road; Nordahl Road Sprinter Station; intersection of Ninth Avenue and W. Valley Parkway; Escondido Transit Center, 700 W. Valley Parkway; and Palomar Health Downtown Campus, 555 E. Valley Parkway.
Volunteers are needed for both the July 28 celebration and year-round in the new medical center, plus Palomar Health’s other facilities. Officials are trying to recruit at least 150 volunteers by July 16 to join the 600 volunteers already performing patient-contact and non-patient contact tasks. These include staffing the front information desk, guest relations and patient ambassador services. For details, go to www.pph.org/volunteer, or call 760-739-3081 ext. 3654 for Palomar Medical Center or 858-613-4659 for Pomerado Hospital.
For years during the planning and construction, Palomar Health officials have been calling the new medical center the “Hospital of the Future” for its innovative features and approach to health care.
Voters approved the project — along with renovations at Pomerado Hospital in Poway — in 2004 with the passage of Proposition BB. This is the first new hospital in North County in three decades.
The 740,000-square-foot, 11-story medical center has 12 operating rooms; 50 emergency and trauma rooms; 288 private, single-patient expandable rooms with private bathrooms and family visiting area with sleeper couch; six interventional radiology and cardiac cath lab suites; a 50-foot high lobby; three outdoor terraces; 800-plus parking spaces and 1.5-acre green roof.
Palomar’s current trauma center and emergency department at 555 E. Valley Parkway in Escondido will close on Aug. 19 and re-open at the new facility. Officials said the trauma center serves more than 540,000 residents in the 2,204-square-mile region, bordered on the south by Scripps Ranch, on the north by southern Riverside County, on the east by Anza Borrego Desert and on the west by the Pacific Ocean.
Other medical services that will be available at the new Palomar Medical Center will be surgery and procedure services, cardiology and cardiac catheterization, vascular services, orthopedics, neuroscience services, interventional radiology, rehabilitation services, medical oncology and GYN oncology surgery. Outpatient services will be pulmonary testing, laboratory and imaging.
Remaining at the former medical center, now called the Palomar Health Downtown Campus, will be labor and delivery, urgent care, Rady pediatrics and neonatal intensive care, behavioral health (crisis and inpatient) and acute rehabilitation. Outpatient services will be ambulatory surgery; GYN surgery; infusion center; stereotactic radiosurgery; radiation therapy; occupational, physical and speech therapy; cardiac rehabilitation; women’s outpatient services; perinatal services; neurodiagnostic testing; sleep center; pulmonary testing; laboratory and imaging.
At Pomerado Hospital will be emergency services, labor and delivery, neonatal intensive care unit, cardiology and vascular services, gero-psychiatry, behavioral health and rehabilitation services. Outpatient services are surgical weight loss program; pulmonary testing; laboratory; imaging; and occupational, physical and speech therapy.
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