St John’s Health Center had hoped to have all its departments functioning in its new Howard Keck Center by the end of August but delays in inspections by the state have delayed the opening of all departments that provide patient care.
The health center’s Director of Marketing and Business Development, Gregory Harrison, told the Mirror that the state’s budget crisis has impacted the licensing of new health facilities because the state’s licensing inspectors have been furloughed or laid off. Some of the departments that are still operating in center’s old South Wing are its operating rooms, the emergency department, nursing, endoscopy, and diagnostics.
Non-patient care departments that have moved into the new Howard Keck Center are Spiritual Care, Purchasing, Housekeeping and Nurse Administration. Harrison explained that, “Once the center passes the inspections, it will take the patient care departments about 10 days to move in.” The hospital hopes the appropriate inspections will be complete and all departments will be in operation by sometime in October.
Saint John’s old Emergency Room had its entrance on Santa Monica Boulevard but the new Emergency Room is going to have its entrance on Arizona Avenue and 22nd Street which is in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Neighbors of the facility have been concerned about what routes ambulances will be taking to the Emergency Room because of the issue of siren noise.
The Mirror has learned that hospital officials and the Santa Monica’s Fire Department (SMFD) have now worked out the details on the ambulance routes to the hospital’s new emergency room which are in agreement with the Development Agreement between the City of Santa Monica and the health center. An e-mail to the Mirror from the Fire Chief Secretary, Sandy Zaouk, stated that in early August fire department personnel and their contract ambulance company, Gerber Ambulance, had an orientation for the new Emergency Department (ED). At that time it was made clear that “20th Street will be our (SMFD and Gerber) primary transport route to get onto Arizona Ave and the ED. All personnel was made aware of concerns of noise on Arizona Ave between 20th Street and 23rd Street requesting that sirens be used only when absolutely necessary. SMFD provided St. John’s with a complete list of all licensed ambulance companies in the County of Los Angeles so that notification of this transport route and use of sirens on Arizona Ave could be made by St. John’s.”
The hospital will begin demolishing the old hospital’s South Wing soon after the patient care departments move out. Its site will then be configured to hold a park and drop off area.