New Kaiser hospital will open its doors Tuesday

DOWNEY - In preparation for its grand opening Tuesday, the Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center will hold its official ribbon-cutting ceremony this afternoon with many Kaiser employees, community leaders and special guests in attendance.After nearly five years of construction, the 700,000-square-foot facility will make history becoming the newest hospital in the region in more than four decades. The six-story structure, draped in an array of light browns and dark blues, will feature 352 beds, 14 operating rooms and an emergency department that will serve the Southeast Los Angeles County community. "Kaiser Permanente has a mission that involves both our patients and our community," said Beth Trombley, director of public affairs for Kaiser Permanente. "That is to improve the health of our patients and the communities we serve. We believe that people are healthy only when their communities are healthy." According to Kaiser Permanente's website, the new medical center represents the future of health care, sporting several features that focus on the "total health" of its members, employees and physicians. Inside the medical center, 95 percent of the patient rooms are private with pull-out beds for the family and friends of patients. The Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center has also taken advantage of green technology, using environmentally-friendly paint, multi-colored carpet made of recycled materials, and natural lighting to encourage comfort and healing around the building. Local residents that wish to see the new hospital facilities are encouraged to attend the community open house tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 12 from 2 - 4 p.m. Staff members will be conducting limited tours of the medical center every 10-15 minutes. The event will feature historical information about the Kaiser site as well as a kids' zone with game booths, food, and giveaways, said Trombley, who believes the new Downey Medical Center will only benefit city residents. "We have been working in Downey on a smaller level for many years," Trombley said. "We have volunteer physicians working in the local schools conducting child visits for uninsured children." Trombley also acknowledged many community organizations that have received funding from Kaiser Permanente including Gangs Out of Downey (GOOD), the Downey Family YMCA, and the True Lasting Connections Family Resource Center which offers services to uninsured and underinsured children in the Downey Unified School District. "It's a large part of what we do to support the community around our medical center," said Trombley. "We will have over 3,000 employees in the City of Downey and we look forward to our staff living and working in this community."

********** Published: September 11, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 21