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Tower tours start at CHOC Children’s

A ceremony dedicating the $558 million, state-of-the-art patient-care facility kicks off Saturday

by Susan Belknapp, OC METRO EditorPublished: January 30, 2013 09:30 AM

After years in development and planning, fundraising and building, Orange County’s premier children’s hospital, CHOC Children’s in Orange, is preparing to open the doors of its new patient-care tower. The seven-story, state-of-the-art addition has been named the Bill Holmes Tower after the recent gift of $27 million from the retired Newport Beach businessman. (See story here.) A community festival and celebration will be held Saturday, Feb. 2 from 1 to 4 p.m., after the formal dedication.

The Holmes Tower will be opening in progressive phases over the next two months, to insure every department is working at optimum operational and technological capacity before the next department is phased in. The tower was given full licensure by the California Department of Public Health on Jan. 23, after an intensive two-day survey.

The schedule spans from early February through the last week in March. The schedule is as follows:
• Second floor Family Services opens: early February
• Lab opens: early February
• Fifth floor Hematology/Oncology opens: mid-February
• Imaging opens: mid-February
• Minor Procedure opens: early March
• Outpatient Surgery opens: early March
• Inpatient Surgery opens: mid-March
• Heart Institute opens: mid-March
• Cath Labs open: late March
• Emergency Department opens: late March

Planned with input from physicians and nurses, the Holmes Tower was designed to provide patients and their families with the best, most efficient care possible. To do this, multiple modern innovations have been implemented, including fully equipped pediatric surgical suites, comprehensive emergency services, and laboratory, pathology, and imaging services. The new facility will also include leading-edge technology, advanced green and safety features, and areas for work, reflection and play.

With seven operating rooms and two cardiac catheterization labs, the hospital is now the only pediatric surgery department in Orange County. During its nearly 50-year history, CHOC has always contracted to send patients to neighboring St. Joseph Hospital for surgical procedures. Now it will not only have its own O.R., but it is equipped with the most advanced equipment available, specialized for pediatric patients.

“The Bill Holmes Tower is helping CHOC usher in a new era of pediatric care, and represents our greatest transformation,” said Kim Cripe, CEO and president, CHOC Children’s. “For the first time in our history, all patient departments and ancillary services will be provided under our own roof.”

Though always independent, CHOC has shared a long partnership with St. Joseph Hospital, which at times included shared medical services.

“The new 425,000-square-foot patient care tower will give CHOC control over a dedicated emergency room, operating rooms, two cardiac catheterization labs, radiology, laboratory and pathology,” says Cripe. “Bringing these critical patient services into an all-pediatric environment is one of the final steps required for becoming a nationally recognized premier children’s hospital.”

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