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Hospital plans could be ready by summer

Posted: March 21, 2008 12:30 a.m.
Updated: May 22, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Plans for expanding Henry Mayo Memorial Hospital could be ready by this summer, said Roger Seaver, the facility's president, during the quarterly Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday at the Valencia Hyatt.

 
Roger Seaver, president and CEO of Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, said Thursday that the hospital is finalizing its environmental impact report and the studies of the facility's expansion could be ready for the Santa Clarita City Council and public hearing as early as summer.

"I would love to give an exact date, but I can't," he said.

Seaver served as the keynote speaker during the packed Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Hyatt Valencia.

The council was originally expected to revisit the Valencia hospital's controversial plans in January after the council's vote in September to continue the public hearing, which initiated a series of council meeting debates.

However, because the project has undergone various changes in scope over the past years, a revised environmental impact report was needed.

During the luncheon, which was packed with local business leaders, Seaver explained that the 15-year master plan includes a helipad for trauma services, an increase in the number of hospital beds, the addition of multiple parking structures and the much debated three medical buildings.

In regards to the medical buildings, Seaver said that constructing three buildings over 15 years is "quite modest to the community."

He also addressed the major issues associated with the proposed expansion during the question and answer period.

He acknowledged that he cannot change the zoning of the hospital and added, "This is a residential zone and a residential neighborhood."

As for an increase in traffic on McBean Parkway, Seaver said that, "the traffic impacts are fully mitigated in the report."

However, he noted that the hospital is limited in what it can do to reduce the noise of a helicopter landing.
Seaver also discussed whether building another hospital in the local area would make a difference.

While he pointed out that he does not have any objections to that option, he said, "Size is one of the most common characteristics of why hospitals fail."

He continued to explain that nurses don't work at small hospitals while physicians would not earn enough income at a small hospital.

Additionally, he said that having multiple smaller hospitals is a "thing of the past."

Seaver also touched on the other projects underway at Newhall Memorial, including the imaging center, intensive care unit, emergency services, hospital beds and new Cardiac Cath lab and neonatal intensive care unit.

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