Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sutter, NorthBay, Kaiser to Revamp Fairfield Facilities

Sutter, NorthBay, Kaiser to Revamp Fairfield Facilities
By Ines Bebea

FAIRFIELD - A facelift has come to the health care industry in Fairfield as Sutter Hospital, NorthBay Healthcare and Kaiser Permanente are all expanding or building new facilities.

Sutter Regional Medical Foundation broke ground Tuesday on the site of a 69,250-square-foot medical building in Busch Corporate Park, next to the Sutter Fairfield Medical Campus that now includes the diagnostic imaging center and ambulatory surgery center. The $20 million building, with 60 offices for physicians and foundation staff, is scheduled to open in November 2007.

"The purpose of this project is to expand and upgrade our services in Solano County," said Edward LaFaso, senior director for strategic planning, business development and marketing for the foundation. "The location and design of the facility were designed with the patient in mind to give them better care."

The foundation will leave its 1234 Empire St. location as soon as the new building is completed. Workers will have wireless connections and be able to track patient files, records and visits electronically.

"The technological upgrade will move us into the 21st century," said Carolyn Appenzeller, chief operating officer. "We want to be the employer of choice for employees and attract the best doctors to our facilities."

About 30,000 patients from the Fairfield-Suisun City area use Sutter. The electronic infrastructure of the new location will be an important feature, added John S. Ray, foundation chief executive officer.

NorthBay Healthcare is next in line to unveil its new project. Construction of the $17 million NorthBay Office Center in Green Valley Corporate Park will begin in early January 2007 and end by early January 2008.

"The new office is NorthBay's way of showing its appreciation to Fairfield and how we have grown alongside the population," said Elnora Cameron, president of NorthBay Health Advantage, a subsidiary of NorthBay Healthcare System.

"We expect that with the new facility closer to our hospital it will make it more attractive to specialists and new physicians joining our staff. But most importantly this will stop Fairfield residents from leaving Solano County to get specialized care."

NorthBay's future plans also include a 12,000-square-foot second primary care clinic to serve west Fairfield.

Kaiser Permanente also plans to expand in Green Valley Corporate Park but that's not scheduled for five years.

Reach Ines Bebea at or 427-6934.

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