Grossmont Healthcare District and Sharp Grossmont Hospital Break Ground on New Heart and Vascular Ctr

La Mesa, CA –  The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) and Sharp Grossmont Hospital held a joint groundbreaking ceremony for a new Heart and Vascular Center on the hospital’s campus on Wednesday, April 3.

The ceremony marked the start of construction of a state-of-the-art facility that will greatly enhance patient care at East County’s largest hospital. The event also included a presentation of architectural plans and the launch of a $10 million capital campaign to fund the acquisition of medical technology and equipment for the new Heart and Vascular Center. Donors to the campaign also were announced at the groundbreaking ceremony.         

Speakers at the groundbreaking included: Michele Tarbet, Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Sharp Grossmont Hospital; Michael Murphy, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sharp HealthCare; Dr. Michael T. Long, 2013 GHD Board President; Barry Jantz, Chief Executive Officer, GHD; Dr. Brian Moore, Chief of Staff, Sharp Grossmont Hospital; Beth Morgante, Vice President, Grossmont Hospital Foundation; and San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

The more than $60 million construction cost for the Heart and Vascular Center is being financed by taxpayer dollars. East County voters passed a $247-million bond measure called Proposition G on the June 2006 ballot. As proposed in the hospital’s Facilities Master Site Plan, Prop. G is funding several infrastructure construction improvements at the publicly-owned hospital, which opened in 1955. The bond-financed construction began in 2007, and is scheduled to continue over the next several years.

"We are very grateful to the taxpayers and donors for their support of their publicly-owned hospital,” said Dr. Michael Long, 2013 GHD Board President. “The board is seeing through on our commitment to taxpayers for much needed hospital improvements so the community’s needs can continue to be met."

County Supervisor Dianne Jacob said, “I applaud the Grossmont Healthcare District board and the voters of East County who affirmed the importance of the bond ballot measure. I also am grateful for the support of local community residents who are making a wise investment with their donations in their publicly-owned hospital.”

Since Prop. G bond dollars are allocated only for construction costs, the Grossmont Hospital Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps raise funds for Sharp Grossmont Hospital, has begun raising $10 million for medical technology and equipment for the new Heart and Vascular Center. 

Donors introduced at the groundbreaking ceremony included Ed and Sandy Burr of Edco Disposal Corp., who are serving as co-chairs of the $10 million fundraising effort. Hospital officials said the top three contributors to the campaign – Bill Verbeck, Dave Salo, and the Burrs – have pledged a combined total of $3 million.

Morgante said at the groundbreaking that additional donations for the capital campaign include $500,000 from the Price Family Fund, $500,000 from the Grossmont Hospital Auxiliary, $300,000 from Sharp Grossmont Hospital employees and $500,000 pledged by the Grossmont Hospital medical staff. 

The three-story, 71,000-square-foot Heart and Vascular Center will greatly enhance the hospital’s ability and capacity to treat acute care patients and help decrease the high cardiovascular disease mortality rate in East San Diego County with the best and most advanced care available in the community, hospital officials said. 

“The new Heart and Vascular Center is just one component of an overall master site plan which includes multiple projects over many years,” said Michele Tarbet, Sharp Grossmont Hospital, Senior Vice President and CEO. “It is the latest step in Sharp Grossmont’s journey to transform the health care experience for the people of East San Diego County. We at Sharp Grossmont are committed to meeting the future health care needs of the community.”

The center will expand the hospital’s surgery capabilities with new cardiac catheterization labs and multipurpose procedural rooms that can support a wide range of specialties, including general surgery, minimally invasive surgery and image-guided surgery, as well as endovascular interventional procedures. 

The Heart and Vascular Center will have three levels specifically designed to treat the challenges of heart and vascular diseases and defects. Rather than being a stand-alone building, the new center will be placed adjacent to the hospital’s current operating rooms and cardiac cath labs. New square footage will total 71,000 with an additional 17,000 of planned square footage for renovation of older areas of the hospital, replacing that space with new functions.  Level 1 will have four hybrid operating rooms and four cath labs. Level A will have a pharmacy and clinical laboratory, and level B will encompass supply services space and new loading docks. 

Starting in April 2013, construction of lower level B will begin, along with work on the middle level for the clinical lab and pharmacy. This will be completed by March 2015. The building-out of the top level 1, including cath labs and operating rooms, will occur by mid-2017.

The Grossmont Healthcare District is a public agency that supports health-related community programs and services in San Diego’s East County region. Formed in 1952 to build and operate Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, GHD serves as landlord for the property and buildings on behalf of East County taxpayers. . The District is governed by a five-member board of directors, each elected to four-year terms, who represent more than 500,000 people residing within the District’s 750 square miles in San Diego’s East County. Sharp HealthCare manages and has operational responsibility of the 540-bed hospital under a 30-year lease that was executed with the District in 1991. For more information, visit www.grossmonthealthcare.org.

The Grossmont Hospital Foundation determines fundraising priorities and supports Sharp Grossmont Hospital in developing high-quality, accessible and affordable inpatient and outpatient services to the residents of San Diego’s East County community. More than $50 million has been raised by the Foundation since its inception in 1986.

Sharp Grossmont Hospital is the largest not-for-profit, full-service acute care hospital in San Diego’s East County, serving the community for more than 50 years. The medical center is a Magnet-designated facility, recognized nationally for nursing excellence, and is part of Sharp HealthCare, San Diego’s most comprehensive health care delivery system and a 2007 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient. Sharp Grossmont is known for its clinical excellence in emergency and critical care; cardiac care; surgery; stroke care; cancer care; orthopedics; rehabilitation; behavioral health; women’s and children’s health; and hospice care. The hospital also offers extensive outpatient services and prevention programs such as home infusion, sleep disorder care, wound care and hyperbaric medicine to support Sharp HealthCare’s emphasis on community health and wellness. To learn more about Sharp Grossmont Hospital, visit www.sharp.com/grossmont or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277).

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