Hospital's Expansion To Prevent Headaches -- New Surgery Center In Vacaville To Be Unveiled Saturday
By Ines Bebea
Communications technician Lori Sullivan runs wire inside a room where colonoscopies will be performed at the new out-patient surgery center at VacaValley Hospital on Wednesday. (Photo by Zachary Kaufman)
VACAVILLE - Before VacaValley Hospital opened its doors 20 years ago, NorthBay Healthcare members had to drive to Fairfield for their medical needs. The distance wasn't that great, but the thought of patients having to battle traffic on Interstate 80 was a giant headache.
NorthBay decided to give its Vacaville patients a hospital to call their own. Twenty years after its doors opened, VacaValley Hospital is again poised to change how patients receive care in Solano County.
"As traffic on the freeway got worse, the idea was to offer patients an alternative location where they could receive care," said Joanie Erickson, director of public relations for NorthBay Healthcare. "Our latest expansion is going to once again ease the demand on our services and shorten hospital stays for our patients."
With its anniversary celebration scheduled for Saturday, VacaValley, the sister hospital of NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield, will unveil its new $15 million surgery center. Tours for the center will be available to the public, as well as free health screenings and other activities.
The new surgery center will handle 80 percent to 85 percent of surgeries that do not require hospital stay, as well as offer new treatments for pain relief and chronic pain. The 12,000-square-foot building features three operating rooms, three procedure rooms and two rooms for pain management procedures.
"Advancements in technology now allow us to minimize the pain, hospital stay and recovery period for our patients," Erickson said. "Twenty years ago, having your gall bladder removed required major surgery. Now, it can be done through minimally invasive procedures that leave less scarring and heal quicker."
The new surgery center will be adjacent to the 50-bed hospital, where operations that cannot be performed on an outpatient basis will continue, Erickson said. The hospital handles 2,800 admissions and 22,000 emergency room visits annually.
"In our short-term plan, we hope that by 2009, we will have a cardiac surgery room in the Fairfield hospital," Erickson said. "Patients needing cardiac procedures have to travel outside of the county to receive that kind of specialized care, and that's another avenue for us to grow."
Reach Ines Bebea at 427-6934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
At a glance
What: VacaValley Hospital turns 20
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: 1000 Nut Tree Road, Vacaville
Thursday, September 27, 2007
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