Today was the official opening of the new South Wing of the Providence Holy Cross Health Center in Mission Hills, a $180 million project that entered the planning stages nearly a decade ago.
According Natasha Shows, marketing and public relations contact for Providence Holy Cross, the new wing houses 138 beds, bringing the total number of beds at the hospital to 377 and making it one of the largest hospitals in the area. The south wing also includes new surgical suites, a state-of-the-art gastroenterology lab, a chapel and gardens.
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Shows said the new wing has improved the ability of the hospital to take on more patients.
“We have basically increased capacity at the hospital,” Shows said. “We’ve added 138 new patient beds, expanded the women’s pavilion to a total of 25 post partum rooms, 12 LDRPs [Labor, Delivery, Recovery and Post Partum rooms], and two dedicated C-section operating rooms used only for c sections as a part of the women’s pavilion.”
On its opening day the new wing was the location for the birth of Emily Martinez, a 6-pound baby belonging to Juan and Aracely Martinez. Martinez was the new wing’s first infant delivery.
According to a press release from the hospital, Debby Dunkle, the hospital’s director of human resources, said the new wing will bring about 370 new jobs, including 111 nursing positions.
The South Wing, opening as Providence Holy Cross celebrates its 50th year, was designed by HMC Architects and built by McCarthy Building Companies and Swinerton Builders, and includes a new Heritage Wall that recounts the history of Holy Cross, including how the hospital continued operations despite two major earthquakes and earned a reputation for excellence, notably for its trauma program.
The expansion was designed following the stringent energy standards of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’s “Green” building rating system. According to their website, LEED standards provide building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
Shows said the one issue Providence Holy Cross has run into with the new project is parking.
“One concern that has been brought up is parking,” Shows said. “There is a big concern over the legal issues with this. That is our next priority. We are looking at doing a parking structure and that is in the works right now. The Executives are looking at land that they can purchase to build that.”
Plans for the new wing surfaced as Providence Holy Cross and other area hospitals felt the ripple effects of numerous hospital closures. With the loss of some 400 beds valleywide, the Catholic, not-for-profit hospital initiated a fund-raising campaign to help finance the expansion, and businesses, residents, physicians, employees and volunteers have helped raise more than $5 million toward the $180 million project.
A 12-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for premature babies and other fragile infants is due to open by the end of summer, the first to serve the Northeast and the Santa Clarita Valleys.
To read a previous article concerning the construction of the hospital's new wing, click here .