Monday, April 11, 2005

NorthBay Hospital eyes $10.8 million expansion

NorthBay eyes $10.8 million expansion

By Sarah Arnquist

- NorthBay Healthcare plans to begin $10.8 million expansion that will triple the size of VacaValley Hospital's emergency department by 2006.

Thanks to a $500,000 donation from biotechnology company Genentech, construction will begin on Vacaville's only 24-hour care facility as soon as NorthBay receives final approval.

Mike Paulik, chairman of the NorthBay Healthcare Foundation said the expansion will allow the hospital to continue meeting the needs of its rapidly growing community.

"You're going to see shorter patient waiting periods and clearly there will be better services and more privacy," Paulik said.

VacaValley's 2,300-square-foot emergency room opened in 1987 and has seven treatment stations. Expansion plans call for a 10,000-square-foot addition that will add 16 new treatment stations.

In 2004, NorthBay's emergency departments in Fairfield and Vacaville together logged 50,988 patient visits. Spokeswoman Marilyn Ranson estimated that 17,000 of the patient visits were in Vacaville.

The Genentech donation enabled NorthBay to begin purchasing medical equipment for the new emergency room.

Frank Jackson, vice president of Genentech Vacaville Product Operations, said the company wanted to make a long-term contribution to the health of its community and residents.

"Since making the decision to locate our second manufacturing facility in Vacaville in 1994, Genentech has witnessed the tremendous growth of the city and the region, and we recognize the need for this emergency facility," Jackson said.

NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield tripled the size of its emergency room in 2002 to 9,800 square feet with 19 treatment rooms.

"With both ERs our physicians and nurses worked with the architects and contractors in designing every aspect of the facilities to maximize our ability to care and provide comfort to our patients," Ranson said.

Reach Sarah Arnquist at 427-6953 or

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