If you’ve been to Sharp Coronado Hospital in the past week, you may have noticed some changes around Prospect Place and Soledad Place. On May 30, construction near the entrance to the hospital to ensure the hospital’s long-term future in the community began as part of a larger project, which is expected to continue for most of of 2023. I had the opportunity to speak with the Chief Financial and Financial Officer of Sharp Coronado Hospital. Director of Operations Fahd Benjalil and Director of Development Nora Allen on the project.
Sharp Coronado Hospital was able to use the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) space waiver during the pandemic to convert critical care space for emergency departments as needed. The intensive care unit (ICU) is currently in a temporary space on the fourth floor of the hospital while a newly renovated space is nearing completion for the department. The move and upgrades to the intensive care unit are part of the hospital’s overall renovation plan, which overall is the largest project ever undertaken by the hospital.
“The project is over $40 million in upgrades, and that doesn’t include some of the other projects that are happening at the same time,” Benjalil commented. “We are also in the process of refreshing the Villa Coronado long-term care facility, and construction of the brand new, state-of-the-art intensive care unit on the fourth floor is nearing completion.”
The rest of the fourth floor is also being updated to have the same look and finish as the new intensive care unit, which will provide rooms for acute care inpatients, as well as responding to community feedback with rooms larger ones, an increase in private rooms and two dedicated patients. lounges for care partners.
The current construction concerns the emergency department of the hospital as well as the last part of the seismic modernization of the building. “One of the key points of the project is to address the emergency department which has not been updated for more than a decade, but we know it is a lifeline for the community”, Allen told me. “I know of a [Coronado Hospital Foundation] perspective, there was a philanthropic campaign in the fall of 2018 that kicked off a silent phase of this project. An estate closed at that time which yielded over a million dollars. She had been someone who attended our gala every year and gave this gift specifically for emergency services. With the increase in patient numbers and wait times over the past few years, we are very grateful to him for his donation,” she continued.
“Our long-term goal is to continue to expand emergency department services for the community as needs have increased, especially during the pandemic,” Benjalil added. Along with departmental updates, one of the latest pieces of the project that was recently approved is the canopy extension that will overlook this section of the hospital.
“Many members of our community have asked why the work cannot be done not only inside the hospital but also outside, and since emergency services are one of the main services offered by the hospital, we were fortunately able to complete this design and approve,” he continued. “The look and feel will blend seamlessly with the rest of the project, but will also be very usable and useful. In the event of another public health crisis such as the pandemic, the canopy over the emergency department can roll out hidden tarps to give us the option to convert this outdoor space to create additional private patient space that will ensure the privacy on the community side and for ambulance traffic, as well as an additional seating area outside the ward entrance to provide more security and space for patients to sit.
The expanded emergency department will also allow the hospital to create two emergency care pathways; a fast care track and an area for emergency patients requiring more complex treatment. When completed, the emergency department will have a total of 15 beds. “By expanding the emergency department, we will be able to provide additional privacy as we have seen an increased need,” Benjalil told me.
Regarding seismic retrofit, Allen and Benjalil spoke of the need to undertake this project to ensure the best care for the community in the future. “In order to meet state requirements to remain operational after 2030, the hospital building must be seismically retrofitted,” Benjalil noted. “Right now we’re drilling about 50 feet into the ground and testing pylons there to eventually become a structural part of the hospital that will ensure the building can shake safely in the event of an earthquake.”
While construction for the completion of these projects is underway, residents will be able to continue to use all services at Sharp Coronado Hospital, but should note some changes to the streets around the building. For the next 12-18 months, Prospect Place will temporarily act as a one-way street from Third Street to Second Street. Concierge services will still be available at the Prospect Place entrance while the main entrance is temporarily relocated to Soledad Place and complimentary valet services will also now be available through the Soledad Place entrance.
“Our goal is to reduce wait times for emergency services and with a lot of work going on there will be an impact on the community in terms of traffic and parking and we would like to thank the community for their patience with us as we complete these renovations,” Benjalil said. “No services will be closed during the completion of any part of this project.”
“We planned for it to run on one side of the hospital and then reverse it to run on the other so we could stay open throughout the process and maintain all of our services and departments” , Allen agreed. The expansion of the emergency department will take place in two phases.
“Sharp HealthCare understands this hospital’s history as an independent hospital for so many years and is pleased to be able to join the community in contributing financially to the project and bringing it to fruition,” added Allen.
“While the project may create parking issues, the end result will ensure access to health care on the island after 2030,” Benjalil said, mentioning the benefits they are excited to be able to bring to the community with expanded and modernized departments such as the intensive care unit with state-of-the-art technology and more private space for the emergency department, which will allow them to care for more patients with reduced waiting times for care.
Sharp Coronado Hospital is located at 250 Prospect Place and can be reached by phone at 619-522-3600. For more information about the hospital, visit their website at https://www.sharp.com/hospitals/coronado/.
FLIGHT. 112, NO. June 23 – 8, 2022