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Scripps Health to launch US$2.6bn expansion

Scripps Health plans to build new hospital towers and perform seismic retrofitting at its five campuses in San Diego County, the healthcare organisation announced yesterday.

The ambitious plan aims to make improvements at all five of the health system’s major medical campuses by 2030.

The project is designed to accommodate trends in healthcare, such as flexible room layouts for new technology and equipment.

Scripps also plans to gear its acute-care hospitals toward the most seriously ill as more people receive outpatient care.

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Nurses will be stationed closer to patients and have more direct access to supplies.

The expansion will include constructing a US$1.3bn replacement hospital for Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego; a new seven-storey patient tower for San Diego-based Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla; and a three-storey acute care structure at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas.

Construction of the new acute care building is expected to begin in 2021 and conclude in 2024.

In addition, seismic retrofitting construction is planned for Scripps Mercy Chula Vista and Scripps Green Hospital in San Diego.

A new, 710,000-sq ft, 12-storey acute care building at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego is the largest single project.

Construction of the replacement tower is expected to begin in 2022 and finish in 2027. Most of the rooms in the hospital will be private upon completion.

It Is the largest building programme in the health care system's 125-year history.

“This is our vision to build the health care system of the future — starting today,” said Chris Van Gorder, Scripps president and CEO. 

“Our focus is on delivering the right care in the right setting that reflects the changing health care needs of the communities we serve across the San Diego region.”

Scripps Health officials said the projects will be financed by operating revenues, borrowing and philanthropy.

“Community support always has been a significant part of Scripps’ history, dating back to our founders, Ellen Browning Scripps and Mother Mary Michael Cummings,” Van Gorder said.

“We are thankful for that. We don’t receive government funding for these projects.

“It’s the generosity of grateful patients and others that has made us what we are today, and it will be that generosity that will shape us into who we become in the future.”

Outside of the hospital campuses, Scripps plans to build two outpatient cancer centres and a new primary- and specialty-care clinic.

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