City Council gets tour of hospital’s new tower – Chico Enterprise-Record


OROVILLE — After taking a tour of Oroville Hospital’s new five-story tower, City Councilor Shawn Webber believes the project will “ultimately be highly beneficial for Oroville as a whole.”

“I thought it was super cool. The vision of it all really impressed me,” said Webber. “I think this is a great, great thing for Oroville, for its future and its citizens.”

The hour-long tour of the expansion was conducted by Robert Wentz, hospital president and CEO, on March 7. Joining Webber on the tour were Mayor Dave Pittman and councilors Eric Smith and Tracy Johnston along with several city staffers including the new city administrator, Brian Ring.

The 165,000 square-foot building is slated to include ambulatory care services, an intensive care unit, a labor and delivery center and two floors for medical/surgical units when it’s completed.

“We didn’t get a specific time for its completion or opening,” said Johnston. “It’s pretty fluid but, ‘fall’ is what they said.”

Pittman said he was interested to learn about the many enhancements featured in the new building including patient hoists and patient telemetry. The hoists, he said, will reduce or eliminate the need for “lifting teams,” staff who physically lift and move patients. Patient telemetry is a portable device that continuously monitors patients’ ECG, respiratory rate and/or oxygen saturations while automatically transmitting information to a central monitor on a round-the-clock basis.

“In general there certainly is more hospital floor space and more and new equipment,” said Pittman.

Describing the setup of the floors, Pittman said nurses’ stations are located in the center of each floor with private patient rooms on the perimeter so each has windows. He also said that sheetrock has been installed but the floors are not yet done.

“I’m excited about it and hoping this additional space will accommodate more doctors and health care professionals and an increase in the hospital’s ability to meet the needs of people of this community. It’s something we’ve needed for a long time,” said Pittman. “The hope is the hospital will be able to provide more efficient and effective health care, that would be the expectation.”

Johnston said she liked what she saw during the tour and thought the expansion indicated that “we’re making great strides to accommodate the needs of Oroville’s health care and the quality of that health care.”

“I liked the room sizes and I’m hoping with the additional bed space the amount of wait time for people to get admitted will be greatly reduced,” she said. “I’m hoping this is a legitimate answer to the current wait times. When someone goes into the (emergency room) there’s definitely an exorbitant wait time. I hope this alleviates the wait times they currently have to endure.”

Pittman said when he asked about emergency room improvements, he was told the wait times would diminish because there would be more rooms in which to put patients. He said he was also told the emergency room would be getting new wall surfaces and flooring but that the current space was “adequate.”

Pittman said he only saw “about five” construction workers who “looked more like supervisors than workers” during the tour, but Webber said construction was “definitely underway” with “all the trades you can image in there working” and the new building was “well on its way to completion.”

“The commitment to building a top-notch facility is evident. It’s going to be very, very nice,” said Webber. “I think it will serve the community in a positive way.”



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