Six weeks after a devastating earthquake ripped through Southern California, two hospitals and four skilled-nursing centers remain closed to inpatients.
After sustaining serious damage from the Jan. 17 quake and its 3,600 aftershocks, 11 hospitals continue to offer limited services. Eight facilities have reopened all services, although exten sive damage at some has forced providers to estab lish alternative care sites. The status report was complied by MODERN HEALTHCARE from information provided by the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development as well as individual medical centers.
Saint John's Hospital and Health Center in Santa Monica, which was evacuated and closed in the days after the quake because state inspectors determined that it was unsafe, last week reopened various outpatient services, including imaging, diagnostic testing, oncology and radiation therapy.
Two weeks ago, Saint John's unveiled a $25 million comeback plan to reconstruct portions of the quake-damaged structure and reopen its doors completely by August as a scaled-down, 220-bed facility employing half its current 2,000-employee work force (Feb. 21, p. 6). Patients from Saint John's were sent to several hospitals, including Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and UCLA Medical Center.
The fate of the region's other shuttered hospital, Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Sepulveda, hasn't been determined. Although $43 million has been designated by the VA for clean-up and restoration at the Sepulveda campus, no decision has been made on whether to rebuild the hospital. Patients from the facility were sent to the West Los Angeles and Loma Linda VA facilities.
Four skilled-nursing facilities were shut down by OSHPD after they had sustained significant damage from the initial temblor.
Bay Vista Health Care Center and Convalescent Hospital in Santa Monica evacuated 130 patients to nearby facilities. OSHPD reports show the nursing-care center "is off its foundation and doesn't appear to be salvageable."
At Harbor View House in San Pedro, executives said they expect to reopen this summer after shoring up a severely damaged wing from which 23 patients were evacuated.
Executives for the other two closed facilities, Berkeley East Convalescent Hospital in Santa Monica, where 175 patients were removed, and the Simi Valley Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, where 94 patients were evacuated, haven't determined whether they will repair or reopen them.
Among open hospitals operating with limited services, Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center last week reopened at various sites all pediatric services closed by the Feb. 1 shutdown and evacuation of its pediatric pavilion.
Pediatric outpatient services have been relocated to a building near the county's Women's Hospital on the LAC-USC campus, while pediatric inpatient and Women's Hospital emergency department services have been merged, hospital executives said.
After a series of powerful aftershocks rocked the region in the early morning of Jan. 29, OSHPD engineers determined the 39-year-old pavilion was unsafe for treating patients, and hospital executives voluntarily closed it (Feb. 7, p. 8).
The county's 166-bed psychiatric hospital also remains closed after sustaining damage from the initial earthquake. Preliminary estimates of the damages to county medical buildings have been set at $389 million.
Near downtown Los Angeles, California Medical Center, a UniHealth America-operated hospital, was expected by OSHPD to complete repairs last week of severely cracked support columns. The damage resulted in the evacuation and closing of a nine-story wing of the hospital's older structure.
At Pacifica Hospital of the Valley in Sun Valley, repairs to one of the hospital's buildings, which was deemed unsafe but salvageable by OSHPD, were expected to begin last week. OSHPD said the hospital had suffered structural damage that had "potential for failure in a severe aftershock."