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Lawsuit rejected in Newhall Memorial Hospital expansion

Master plan can now move forward

Posted: February 12, 2010 7:17 p.m.
Updated: February 12, 2010 7:19 p.m.
NORWALK, Calif. - A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge ruled yesterday, rejecting a lawsuit brought against the city of Santa Clarita over the approval of the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital master plan expansion, concluding that "The petitioner has not established that there was any prejudicial abuse of discretion." ...Therefore, "The petition is denied."

The December 2008 lawsuit filed by Santa Clarita Organizing for Planning and Environment (SCOPE) and Community Advocates for Health Care SCV challenged the adequacy of the project's environmental impact report (EIR). However, the judge disagreed with each of the petitioners' arguments in the case.

"We are very pleased that the court rejected the lawsuit in its entirety," said Roger Seaver, president and chief executive officer for Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. "Our community depends upon the services of its only hospital and it is imperative that we move forward with the master plan development so we can continue to provide our residents with the highest level of community health care. We will continue to work with the entire community to make the Henry Mayo Hospital campus the best it can be."

Over the last 35 years, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital has seen tremendous growth in the surrounding Santa Clarita Valley and the master plan allows the hospital to adjust to the growing need for services.

The plan includes the addition of up to 120 beds, a neonatal intensive care unit, expanded imaging services and intensive care unit, more surgery suites, parking structures, and medical office buildings to help support the development of "Centers of Excellence" in important clinical areas not currently found at the hospital.

The plan will also allow the hospital to retain its designation as the only trauma center serving the Santa Clarita Valley and a 680-square-mile area that includes a long stretch of Interstate 5.

The court found that the "EIR included a comprehensive analysis of the aesthetic impacts..." of the project. Furthermore, the court found that the "[City] Council's consideration and conclusion that the project was consistent with the UDC [Unified Development Code] is supported by substantial evidence."

"Critical to the hospital's mission is our ability to anticipate and respond to the growing healthcare needs of the community, said Seaver, "The rejection of this lawsuit and the subsequent build out of the master plan will allow us to meet and exceed the demand for healthcare in the Santa Clarita Valley and beyond. This ruling is not only good news for our hospital, but more importantly for our community and the residents we serve."

Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital's new campus was designed to not only meet all environmental impact requirements but to balance the need for growth with neighborhood quality of life issues such as noise, traffic and lighting.

With more than 1,100 employees, the hospital is currently the fifth largest employer in the Santa Clarita Valley. It is anticipated that the new construction will have a significant, positive economic impact on the community in terms of business revenue, wages and taxes. It will also add to more long-term, high-wage jobs.

"This ruling confirms that with a committed hospital board, staff, physicians and community there are no limits to what we can, and will achieve," stated James D. Hicken, chair of the board for Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. "We are very proud to be part of this great community and feel blessed to have the opportunity to move forward with this important project to increase the quality of care for our residents."

Seaver said that the hospital's goal is to begin construction at the earliest in March of this year on the parking structure and helipad that will improve parking and emergency care.

About Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital
Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital is a 221-bed not-for-profit acute care hospital serving the Santa Clarita Valley since 1975. Services include trauma, emergency, intensive care, maternity, surgery, nursing, wound care, behavioral health and acute rehab, as well as cancer, cardiology, imaging, lab, digestive, respiratory services and physical and occupational therapies. Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital is located at 23845 McBean Parkway, Valencia, Calif. 91355-2083.


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