Hospital Wars - Dignity Health announces Elk Grove hospital plans, CNU says there's room for two

Even with its fast-growing population, to this day, Elk Grove has functioned without a full-service acute care hospital within its city limits. Today, with San Francisco-based Dignity Health's formal announcement of their hospital, which was approved seven years ago, there could be two acute care facilities in the next several years in Elk Grove if all goes according to plans.

In a ceremony held on the site of what will become a 200,000 sq. ft. 100-bed hospital on Wymark Drive in the city's District 56 area, city officials, and Dignity Health executives unveiled the plans. Dignity, who already has city approval, hopes to receive state approval in the next two years and is aiming for a 2023 groundbreaking on their 30-acre campus with an opening three or four years later. 

“Dignity Health has served Elk Grove and the surrounding communities for more than 45 years. We’re thrilled to begin this journey and make Elk Grove’s first hospital a reality,” Laurie Harting, Greater Sacramento Division President of Dignity Health, said. “We have been working toward building a hospital in Elk Grove since 2010 and are excited to move forward with the project. 

When it was approved in 2013, plans called for a 330-bed hospital. Although the first phase of the facility was scaled back, the architectural plans will accommodate future expansion.

Dignity's formalized plans come just over a year after Calfornia Northstate University announced their plans for a 400-bed facility on the city's far west side in the Stonelake's neighborhood. Even though CNU has not been approved by Elk Grove nor the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, they claim their facility will be open with 250-beds by 2022.

Even though both organizations have avoided direct criticism of each other, CNU's plans appeared to jumpstart Dignity's expansion plans in Elk Grove. At a meeting on August 21, Phyliss Baltz, who is president of Dignity's Methodist Hospital in south Sacramento, reminded council members of the health care provider's long history in the Sacramento region and their reputation.

"We have done some diligent study of the community, the trends of healthcare, and we are a proven and trusted medical provider," Baltz said at the August meeting (see video below). Although she did not mention them by name, CNU has operated as a for-profit medical school in Elk Grove since 2014 and has never opened, owned, or operated an acute care hospital.

In a statement released today by CNU spokesperson Brian Holloway, the Elk Grove-based medical school said the city's population growth could accommodate more beds. He also said they are committed to their project's timeline.

“We are focused on completing our medical center and teaching hospital project according to our timeline," Holloway said. "Elk Grove is a growing community with healthcare demands that will require new medical facilities well into the future." 

The new District56 hospital is part of Dignity's plan to replace Methodist Hospital, which does not meet current state seismic requirements. Holloway noted that and said, "We appreciate Dignity’s interest in building a replacement hospital and the challenges they face in serving their current patient base.”

Although CNU has laid out an ambitious, some say unrealistic, timeframe to not only demolish the existing Stonelake Landing shopping center they purchased for their 12-floor proposed hospital, they have not yet named a financing source for the $900 million project. 

Copyright by Elk Grove News © 2019. All right reserved.

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Spoons and Forks said...

To get this thing built in the next couple years I suppose CNU and Alvin Cheung, aside from sloshing some cash around to the city council and city officials, is going to contract with one of these Chinese construction companies that build, how shall I say, buildings that fall like dominoes!

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