GREENBRAE, Calif.-Marin General Hospital and Helian Health Group formally opened the Surgery Center of Marin this month. The center, which is located within Marin General Hospital, is a 12,000-square-foot facility with three operating suites that has the capability to treat as many as 25 patients per day. The total cost to develop the surgery center wasn't released. As part of the joint agreement, Helian will manage the facility for three years. The center will be used for general surgery, orthopedic surgery, and ophthalmological and obstetric/gynecological procedures. Helian expects first-year volume to exceed 4,500 procedures. With this opening, Monterey, Calif.-based Helian now manages four outpatient surgery centers in California and a surgical specialty hospital in Menlo Park, Calif.
GOODING, Idaho-Gooding County Memorial Hospital has taken its case to the public in a bid to counter the national trend of rural hospitals either closing down or being taken over by large healthcare providers. Hospital officials simply asked residents what services they wanted at the 13-bed hospital so they would stop going elsewhere for basic healthcare. "It's really not much of a mystery," said F. John Gies, M.D., Gooding's new family practitioner. "People want quality healthcare, they want it at a reasonable price, and they want it right now-not six months from now." A year ago, the hospital began an education program to show residents what it has to offer. Since then, Administrator Kenneth W. Archer said, inpatient admissions have risen 70%, laboratory procedures have increased and demand for emergency, physical therapy and rehabilitation services is up. "They started to come here for our inpatient care because they realized what we could do," Mr. Archer said. "In the past they drove to Jerome and also to Twin Falls and Boise." Because of public response, the hospital is launching a million-dollar renovation that includes expanding the emergency room and tripling the space for physical therapy. As cash becomes available, the hospital will build an outpatient service center and reopen its obstetrics department. Fully aware that a town of 3,000 in a county of 12,000 cannot support its own medical specialists, Mr. Archer said the hospital turns to other communities, getting a urologist from
Boise to visit twice a month, for example. A Twin Falls podiatrist holds office hours weekly.-Associated Press