The following article is from Stephen Ralph, our president and CEO and appeared in the Pasadena Star-News
. He took time out to talk about our new emergency and trauma center, the only trauma center in the San Gabriel Valley, and one of the remaining full service emergency departments in the region.
Amidst all the rhetoric of the health care discussions taking place in Washington, nonprofit hospitals around the country continue to provide care and enhance community health with unrelenting passion. In fact, it is precisely in this atmosphere of partisan debate and financial challenges that the nonprofit mission becomes even more important as people turn to their local hospital as a safe harbor - one they have trusted and relied on for decades and hope to do so for generations to come.
Such is the case at Huntington Hospital, which for more than a century has continued to enhance its capabilities to meet growing community demands. Succeeding as an independent community hospital is tough business these days as many of our state's community hospitals are losing money. It takes strong stewardship and a supportive community for a hospital to survive in this environment. We are very fortunate in that regard; and thanks to the people of Pasadena and the dedication of our employees, medical staff and volunteers, we can look at 2011 with optimism and with reason to be grateful. A good place to start is with our new emergency and trauma center.
As the only trauma center in the San Gabriel Valley, and one of the remaining full service emergency departments in the region, several years ago we saw a clear need to renovate and expand our existing facility (last year we saw more than 61,000 visits in a department built to handle less than half that amount). Our goal was to not only create one of the most innovative and thoughtfully designed emergency and trauma centers in the country but to fund this $80 million project entirely through philanthropy.
Most people said that couldn't be done - not with a sagging economy and not with the controversies swirling around our industry. But thanks to the incredible support of our community (including hospital employees and medical staff), we enter 2011 very close to reaching our fundraising goal. By September it is our hope that the new building will be operational. But the work doesn't stop there.
At that time, the space that is our existing emergency department will be closed and renovated from the ground up. This will entail a carefully choreographed move from the existing space to the new space - something that our team has been working on since day one to ensure a seamless transition for both patients and caregivers. Once the renovation of the existing emergency department is complete, the two facilities will be joined to create an integrated emergency and trauma center with an operational capacity upward of 90,000 visitors annually. We expect to be completed by the end of 2013.
While all this is taking place, Huntington has continued to respond to the day-to-day needs of our neighbors. Most recently, in reply to heightened demand during this busy time of year (when flu, pneumonia and other respiratory infections are at their highest), we opened an additional medical unit and staffed it with the same level of excellence that is our hospital's hallmark. So, too, we continue to look at community necessity in such areas as cardiology, oncology, neurology, orthopedics, women's health and many other important and often underserved areas. And most important, we continue to invest in world-class technology - technology available in fewer and fewer hospitals - to ensure that the physicians who practice at Huntington have the tools they need when it matters most.
None of this would be possible without the incredible and generous support of our community businesses and friends who all join together to support our cause and make an impact. Though most donors may never know how many countless lives their support has touched, we see the kind of lifesaving difference their generosity makes every day.
The link to the article is: http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/opinions/ci_17343356