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Sunday, November 18 , 2018, 11:48 am | Fair with Haze 65º


New Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital Hosting Public Tours This Weekend

New facility is finished after years of construction; existing hospital will be demolished once departments move into the location next door

Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital VP Arie Dejong stands in front of a hyberbaric chamber at the wound center inside the new hospital facility.
Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital VP Arie Dejong stands in front of a hyberbaric chamber at the wound center inside the new hospital facility. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

It's been a decade in the works, but the new Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital is finally opening its doors and staff are ready to serve the public with the new $126-million facility.

The public will get a chance to check out the new hospital during tours taking place this weekend, but reporters got the chance to check out the 150,000-square-foot facility at 351 South Patterson Ave. in Goleta.

The operating rooms, new emergency department, orthopedics center and therapy services department as well as the Ridley-Tree Center for Wound Management were all on display during the tour led by Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital Vice President Arie Dejong.

The 1994 Northridge Earthquake, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake which injured more than 8,000 people, prompted state legislation mandating acute hospital care buildings be constructed to withstand a 6.0 magnitude earthquake. 

Senate Bill 1953 also mandates that existing building be retrofitted for earthquake safety.

In spite of the mandate, the state did not provide any funding to make the changes, nor were federal dollars available for the construction.

The rebuild at the Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital used about $14 million raised from community donations and tax-exempt bonds also helped with the construction.

The original hospital was founded in 1966 and was acquired by Cottage Health in 1996.

Since the building was so old, “it just made sense for us to build new facilities,” said Ron Werft, CEO and President of Cottage Health System, who was also on the tour.

It’s been a decade of construction at all three locations, he said.

At the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital location, about 40 percent of the original hospital has been demolished.  

Right now, a large pit sits at the site and will become the new emergency room, the construction of which is expected to begin after Labor Day and finish in late 2018, Werft said.

Despite being a smaller hospital, Goleta Valley Cottage saw 1,626 admissions last year and more than 18,000 emergency department visits, numbers that are likely to increase with the expanding facilities.

There are 20 private emergency rooms in the new Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital.
There are 20 private emergency rooms in the new Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

“We’re over the moon excited about this new building,” Dejong said.

There’s hardly a bare wall in the place, as 280 pieces of artwork from Central Coast artists line the walls, courtyards and other spaces in the new facility.

A massive Hank Pitcher painting showcasing a local shoreline will greet visitors to the new hospital as they enter the lobby.

Twenty private rooms fill the emergency room, compared to eight in the former facility. Two of the rooms have negative pressure systems, which could be used if a patient comes in and needs to be separated from the rest of the emergency department, such as a patient with tuberculosis.

Pneumatic tubes also run from the hospital, under Patterson Avenue and to laboratory facilities across the street to transport lab samples, Dejong said.

Inside the wound treatment center, a row of hyperbaric chambers are lined up to help patients with wounds that won't heal. The wound treatment center primarily helps patients with diabetes, but also those with infection sites from surgery and the like.

The facility’s state of the art operating rooms will be handling elective surgeries, since the trauma cases are sent to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital's Level II Trauma Center.

Orthopedics, plastic, general and maxillofacial surgeries will all take place at the hospital in one of the six operating rooms.

“We have the potential to handle a lot of surgeries here,”​ Dejong said.

The City of Goleta is growing and Dejong said the hospital could potentially have a third floor built on top of the existing two-story structure should the need arise.

The existing Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital will be demolished after all departments are moved into the new location next door, and that teardown is expected to take place this fall.

A new medical office building is also under construction on the corner of Hollister and Patterson Avenues and will house 50,000 square feet of office space.

The public is invited to tour the new facility between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. this Saturday. 

Six hundred people have already signed up for the tours, and those interested in being a part should call 1.888.999.8262 for a reservation.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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