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Canyon Country may get medical center

Eastern part of SCV has demand for urgent-care services

Posted: October 26, 2009 10:56 p.m.
Updated: October 27, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 

A group of developers is considering building a large medical center in Canyon Country, which may bring urgent-care services to a community that doesn't currently have any.

Canyon Hills Development Corporation, which owns several other commercial properties in Canyon Country, is planning to build the $32 million, 108,139-square-foot medical center for east-side residents. The center would probably include urgent-care services, the developer said.

Canyon Country patients who need immediate care would have to commute across town to one of three offices in Valencia - about 8 miles away - or even farther.

The project has drawn support from leaders in Canyon Country and advocates for the SCV's senior citizens. Several senior living communities are located in Canyon Country and northern Newhall, relatively far removed from Valencia medical offices.

Brad Berens, executive director of the SCV Senior Center, wrote an e-mail of support saying a Canyon Country medical center would enhance seniors' quality of life.

At a Canyon Country Advisory Committee meeting last week, several residents said they've had to travel far to get timely treatment.

Joan Kaldhusdal, 75, who lives in Canyon Country, said she drives to the Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the San Fernando Valley for urgent care. That's about a 12-mile trip, she said.

Other places patients could go - all in Valencia - include Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, Facey Medical Group and Kaiser Permanente. Facey Medical Group has an office in Canyon Country, but it does not offer urgent-care services.

"It's hard for a lot of senior citizens to get across the valley," Kaldhusdal.

For genuine medical emergencies, including calls involving ambulances, patients would still be taken to a 24-hour hospital emergency department such as Henry Mayo's.

If the Canyon Country medical center is built, it would be the largest outpatient medical building in the valley, said Mark Oliver, a commercial developer with Canyon Hills.

It would be located on Sierra Highway north of Via Princessa.

Oliver said it is likely a building of this size would provide urgent-care service, but couldn't guarantee it because the developer hasn't leased the facility to a hospital group yet.

"We've been looking to have some major medical services moved over to the east side," said Canyon Country Advisory Committee Chairman Al Ferdman. "It's important to be as close to good medical service as possible."

The group expects the building to employ about 49 doctors and 113 nurses, meaning the facility could see around 2,000 to 2,5000 patients a day, Oliver said. He said the center would probably also include MRI services and other specialized geriatrics care for the large elderly community on the east side.

According to the developer's plans, construction could begin sometime in 2013, taking about six months to build.

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