FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
northbay update 7_31_14

NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

Solano Life 2014

Local health care system continues to grow

By From page SOL21 | August 24, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Solano County’s health care system continued to evolve and grow over the past year.

NorthBay Healthcare leased a new, 37,000-square-foot, two-story building in Green Valley near its administration center. That allowed it, in spring 2014, to move services based at various places to a single location, including the Center for Primary Care, gastroenterology, hospice and bereavement.

An even bigger NorthBay Healthcare proposal involves modernizing the NorthBay Medical Center hospital in central Fairfield. NorthBay Healthcare in 2014 filed plans with the city for what will be a multiyear project.

NorthBay Healthcare will construct a 77,000-square-foot, three-story hospital addition at the rear of the existing hospital. The addition will contain six operating rooms, two cardiac catheterization labs and a larger diagnostic imaging department, plus room for 22 patient beds.

Another proposed addition involves building a new lobby adjacent to the present lobby. That will allow the expansion of the emergency department into the existing lobby space, with the number of treatment bays growing from 19 to 32.

Kaiser Permanente also made the news over the past year.

Max Villalobos, the senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente in Solano and Napa counties, decided to take a Kaiser position in San Diego. Villalobos spearheaded Kaiser Permanente’s successful efforts to turn its Vacaville hospital into Solano County’s only Level II trauma center.

Corwin Harper succeeds Villalobos. He oversees the hospital and health plan operations, medical offices and staff at two hospitals and four medical offices in Vacaville, Vallejo, Fairfield and Napa that serve more than 250,000 members.

Medical care in Solano County has come a long way since one the area’s first hospitals opened in 1876 in the Tolenas area in a two-story, wooden building with barns, a water tower and windmill nearby.

NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield has its origins in the late 1950s, when local doctors worked to establish the 32-bed Intercommunity Memorial Hospital. Fairfield was previously served by the 12-bed Bunney Hospital, which had become inadequate for a community enjoying a post-World War II growth boom.

Today, Intercommunity Memorial Hospital has become NorthBay Medical Center, with a 120-bed facility on B. Gale Wilson Boulevard. The NorthBay website says the center delivers more than 1,500 babies a year and has the most sophisticated service for premature or ill newborns within 50 miles.

In 1987, NorthBay opened a 50-bed VacaValley Hospital that, since 2007, has included a $13 million emergency department and outpatient surgery center. The center in October 2012 celebrated its 25th anniversary. It also announced plans to build a “health village” with a fitness center, diabetes and endocrinology center and imaging center and a small conference center.

Kaiser Permanente has hospitals in Vacaville and Vallejo and medical offices in Fairfield and Vacaville. The Vallejo hospital was renovated in 2010 and has 267 beds. Kaiser in 2009 opened a 65-bed, $500 million Vacaville hospital, with room to keep adding beds and services.

Sutter Solano Medical Center has its roots in the Vallejo General Hospital, built in 1921. The hospital moved to its present location with 102 beds in 1969 and became affiliated with Sutter Health in 1984. Sutter also operates the Sutter Cancer Center in Vallejo. Sutter Regional Medical Foundation offices serve Fairfield, Vallejo, Vacaville and Rio Vista.

David Grant Medical Center opened in 1943 at Fairfield-Suisun Army Air Base Hospital, which today is called Travis Air Force Base. The center in 1988 opened a $193 million facility that has 350 inpatient and 75 aeromedical staging flight beds. The Travis Air Force Base website calls the hospital “the Air Force Medical Service’s flagship medical treatment facility in the United States.”

Reach Barry Eberling at 425-4646, ext. 232, or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
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