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By Tammye McDuff
A groundbreaking ceremony, held Friday August 5th kicked off construction for the expansion of PIH Health Hospital – Downey Emergency Department (ED).
Ramona Pratt, newly appointed PIH Health Chief Operating Officer of Group Operations greeted special guests and VIP’s. “PIH Health continues to invest in the Downey facility and in technologies that will enhance the quality of care and the patient experience,” said Pratt, “we remain committed to those who come to us for care and we are dedicated to ensuring high standards.”
The current facility was built to accommodate 25,000 patient visits per year; the current number of patient visits has increased to approximately 50,000.
To better meet the current and future needs of the community, approximately 5,000 square feet of space will be added to the existing ED, doubling the current footage and expanded the waiting room to accommodate an additional 40 plus patients. This project will include new and improved service areas, a “fast track” – which will serve patients who are not experiencing life-threatening emergencies, 11 additional exam rooms, a new registration desk, modern nursing stations, new hospital equipment and a state-of-the-art CT scanner.
“We knew when we acquired the Downey Medical Center that we would have to expend the emergency capabilities of the ED,” says Pratt, “clearly this expansion is necessary to further assist the Downey Community.”
Beginning immediately, the expansion will comprise nine phases with the completion date being in the fall 2018. Hospital services in the ED will remain available during the two-year construction period.
Downey Unified School District Board member, Martha Sodetani was invited to give her recent experience with PIH Health Emergency Department. Sodetani had become ill; her daughter insisted she go to the emergency room and drove her to PIH-Health, Downey. “Before I knew it, I was on oxygen, I had an IV with antibiotics, testing done and admitted to the hospital with pneumonia,” Sodetani adds, “My care team was loving, respectful, they took care of my needs and my family’s needs perfectly, and I thank them so very much for expanding on what is effectively working for Downey residents. I have recovered 100 %”
The vision of PIH Health is ‘patient first’ and currently 70% of those in-patients come through the emergency room, it is usually their first introduction to PIH Health Hospital – Downey. The hospital has been a cornerstone of Downey for almost 100 years, and PIH Health is focused on ensuring the legacy continues and operates as the best medical facility in the area.
Downey Mayor, Alex Saab congratulated the PIH Health team on their community partnership and the new expansion, “We were very excited when PIH [Health] wanted to acquire the hospital. They made a commitment to aggressively invest in our city and provide the best care for our residents.”
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