New hospital a jewel on the hill
In November 2004 voters in the sprawling Palomar Pomerado Health District, including those living in inland North County, overwhelmingly approved Proposition BB. Nearly 70 percent of those casting ballots agreed to a property tax increase to raise $496 million toward building a new Palomar Medical Center, to significantly upgrade Pomerado Hospital in Poway and to build clinics in Ramona and Rancho Penasquitos.
On Saturday, the public is invited to tour the new Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, which officially opens on Aug. 19. Trust us when we say that although the final product cost significantly more than projected, the taxpayers have gotten more than their money’s worth.
It is billed as the “Hospital of the Future” which is not hyperbole. Much thought and research went into the planning and construction of this 11-story structure, which is the first new hospital in North County in 30 years. It has 288 private, single-patient rooms, 50 emergency and trauma rooms and 12 operating rooms. The hospital boasts the latest in medical technology, including a sophisticated secure wireless network. Design features include three open-air terraces on each floor, an energy-saving 1.5-acre garden roof and the liberal use of natural light to improve both the patient and employee experience.
Soaring construction costs forced some design changes, including the decision leave 2-1/2 floors unfinished and shuttered for future growth. What clearly was not trimmed was the public hospital district’s commitment to creating what Palomar Health President and CEO Michael Covert calls “a world-class healing environment.”
As for the other promised Proposition BB improvements, Pomerado Hospital has received some construction attention, with more improvements coming. Ground was recently broken for the Ramona clinic.
The voters were right in pledging their hard-earned money nearly eight years ago to improve the quality of health care in our region. Whether they ever need the services provided by the new Palomar Medical Center, its presence on the hill above Escondido is a new, exciting reason to be living in North County.
- New hospital opens Saturday for public tours
- Tour new hospital on July 28
- Pomerado Hospital receives top grade for safety
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