published on February 19, 2016 - 10:54 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Hospitals up and down the Valley are currently undergoing campus updates this spring, with several more expanding services and infrastructure at secondary facilities.

North Valley
Saint Agnes Medical Center is juggling several construction projects at its main campus in northeast Fresno including an expansion of the women and infant services department and the creation of a new hybrid suite at the hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab.

The hospital is nearing completion on phase 1 of its women and infant services project, which will create 26 new private postpartum rooms and a respite nursery on the medical center’s fourth floor.
The newly refurbished rooms feature sleeper sofas and extra guest seating to help create a more private, family-friendly experience.
The postpartum room updates will be completed later this spring and will be immediately followed by the refurbishment of the unit’s labor, delivery and antepartum rooms on the sixth floor.
Construction work on the new hybrid lab suite is also expected to kick off this spring, and hospital administrators say the update will provide Saint Agnes with the latest clinical advancements and technologies.
The new suite will be a blend of interventional and operating environments and support more complex, multidisciplinary procedures like trans catheter aortic valve replacement and collaborative procedures.
In addition to the updates on the main campus, Saint Agnes also recently opened a new Wellness Center in northwest Fresno near Herndon and Milburn avenues.
The 40,000-square-foot facility was formerly home to the Northwest Medical Group and reopened on Feb. 1 after several months of renovations.
The updated site now offers urgent care, family practice, internal medicine, OB-GYN and laboratory services. Hospital administrators say additional services will be added in the near future, including occupational health, orthopedics, pediatrics, expanded imaging capabilities and a pharmacy.
Valley Children’s Hospital is also expanding its footprint throughout the community, and is currently in the midst of opening several new clinical sites.
The Madera County-based pediatric hospital will open an expanded neonatal intensive care unit in Hanford next month in partnership with Adventist Health.
The unit is growing from four beds to six and will be dedicated and blessed during a special ceremony on Feb. 24.
According to a statement from the hospital, the Hanford NICU is entirely owned and operated by Valley Children’s despite being inside a larger Adventist facility, and has been a presence in the community for more than 20 years.
The children’s hospital will also open a new outpatient clinic in Visalia in March to help provide care closer to home for South Valley patients.  
Valley Children’s Akers Specialty Care Center will provide outpatient support to children and families in the Tulare and Kings county areas. Initial services include pediatric surgery, gastroenterology, cardiology and otolaryngology (ENT), with more departments added later.
Hospital administrators say the new site is expected to help address the growing need for specialty pediatric care in the region, noting that in 2015, Valley Children’s reported seeing more than 16,000 children from Tulare County. Those patients in turn, accounted for more than 39,000 outpatient visits overseen by the hospital group.  
Additionally, Children’s Hospital has announced plans to break ground on its new outpatient specialty care center in Fowler at the end of the year.
The 16-acre site is located just off Highway 99 and is a joint project with Adventist Health that will feature outpatient and diagnostic services.  

South Valley
In the South Valley, Kaweah Delta Health Care District is in the midst of several updates to its main facility in Visalia.
The hospital’s labor and delivery rooms are currently undergoing a facelift, with fresh paint, new cabinets and flooring being installed in each room.
Administrators say the project is being completed two rooms at a time and the update will eventually include an upgraded nursing station.  
Kaweah Delta’s Ambulatory Surgery Center patient waiting room is also undergoing renovations to add more space, and in April the hospital will begin remodeling the administration office on the department’s west end.
The project is expected to last 16 months and will expand the pre- and post-treatment areas at the facility.
Kaweah Delta’s Visalia campus will undergo a more extensive transformation in the coming years, as the district’s board of trustees recently approved a $327 million bond initiative to be voted on in May.
The measure is in response to a state law requiring all acute-care hospitals in California to meet new earthquake standards.
In a letter to the community last month district CEO Lindsay Mann said that many of the rooms at Kaweah Delta’s current hospital were built more than 50 years ago and do not meet the new, stricter standards.
If approved by district voters, the bond money will be used along with several other funding sources to help build a new acute-care facility on district property directly west of the hospital’s six-floor Acequia Wing.

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