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Big Plans for Rideout Expansion

July 22, 2008

By Nancy Pasternack, Appeal-Democrat, Marysville, Calif.

Jul. 22–Plans for a 250,000-square-foot expansion, an eight-floor main tower, and a helicopter landing pad at Rideout Memorial Hospital in Marysville are underway, pending the results of an environmental impact report.

Officials of Fremont Rideout Health Group hope to break ground in late 2009 and complete the project by the end of 2012.

The City of Marysville approved a contract last week for Planning Partners, an environmental consulting group, to produce the $198,000 report, which will include ground and air traffic study results.

Fremont Rideout Health Group, owner of the hospital and of Fremont Medical Center in Yuba City, has agreed to fund the study and reimburse the city for related administrative costs.

The project has been budgeted at $140 million.

“It’ll be quite a building, and will serve the citizens of this region for quite a long time,” said Tony Moddesette, vice president of facilities and projects for Fremont Rideout.

The helicopter landing pad, according to the most recent revision of expansion plans, will be constructed atop an eight-floor tower above the main entrance.

Fremont Rideout’s plans are part of a move to streamline operations in its two locations, and to move all acute and inpatient care to the hospital in Marysville.

Changes in earthquake compliance codes for hospitals require updated construction with a deadline to move out of noncompliant buildings by the end of 2013.

Most of the health group’s buildings in Yuba City will be unusable for inpatient care, according to Moddesette.

Expansion of the Marysville hospital will include connecting hallways from the main tower to the emergency room, which will have its own entrance and parking lot off of Third Street.

According to Moddesette, the weekend of July 12-13 brought 140 patients to the Rideout Emergency Room, a volume that is not out of the ordinary.

“ERs across the state are overwhelmed,” he said. On average, two or three patients are transported each month by medical transport helicopter to Sacramento-area hospitals.

“It can be really terrible,” Moddesette said. “We get gunshot patients — all kinds of things come through there.”

Currently, part of the hospital’s parking lot has to be cleared out in order for a helicopter to land, which, “can cause a little bit of delay,” in treatment, he said.

In addition to the helicopter landing pad and ER access, the expansion plans also include room for 132 additional inpatient beds and an option to convert additional space for 36 more.

City Services Director Dave Lamon said changes to the hospital will likely have a positive impact both on health care in the Yuba-Sutter area, and on Marysville’s flagging economy.

“We’ll have more doctors and related medical development around the hospital,” he said. “Any increased activity like that is good for the city.”

But, he said, “the process is really just getting started.”

Contact Appeal reporter Nancy Pasternack at 749-4712 or npasternack@appeal-democrat.com

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Copyright (c) 2008, Appeal-Democrat, Marysville, Calif.

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