Sutter Health, Eden Medical Center
Blog

While the construction teams take a break from their work week, we will be at work behind the scenes this weekend to upgrade the blog site. Please excuse the temporary downtime as we upgrade to bring you the latest news, photos and videos.

This site will be down at times over this coming weekend, July 10 -11.

To get a closer look at the construction in progress, you can visit Eden Medical Center at 20103 Lake Chabot Road in Castro Valley, to participate in the annual Run to the Lake & Health Expo!

Here’s to the men and women making our dream of a new hospital a reality…

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overhead-view-workers

Cassandra Clark, Project Communications Director

The upgrade of our Website is now complete, and we are back with more news and information with a renewed vigor. These past two months have seen a bit of a slowdown on our posts and social media program due to summer vacations and transitions here, but we are up and running again — and even more dedicated to making this site informative and useful to our staff, patients, neighbors, community and ever-growing network of friends.  If you haven’t yet taken the time to subscribe to our site, I encourage you to do so now. You will receive a notice only when new updates are provided, and we won’t inundate you with e-mails nor solicitations.

The Eden Campus has been alive with activity since we broke ground on July 1. Because of the tremendous progress, we have launched our “Photos of the Week” to complement the WebCam and give you a bit more detail on what the crews are working on.

Below are a few highlights:

Foundation Piers
The crews are continuing to drill and pour the foundation piers, the first phase of the new hospital’s foundation. What does it take for a hospital of this size? Crews will pour 570 piers altogether, some reaching 60 feet underground. They are moving at a rapid pace now, drilling and pouring 10 to 12 piers each work day. Once these are complete — although some work is done concurrently to prep the site — crews will begin work on the underground utilities such as electricity, sewer lines, storm drains and plumbing. They are also beginning installation of the grade beam rebar, and the photo below shows the site excavation and prep work for the rebar.

Rebar-Prep

Temporary Pedestrian Bridge
While work is being done on the site, the current pedestrain bridge will need to shut down. To provide uninterrupted access from the parking garage to the hospital, the crews must build a temporary pedestrain bridge. One the land was excavated, crews placed the braces/beams and began the sheathing of the bridge.

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Storm Drain and Fire Road
A new wall is almost complete on the north end of the site, and crews began work on the storm drain. A fire road is also under construction, and this past week the crews continued installation of the fire road retaining wall.

fire-road-retaining-wall-beams

storm-drain

These are just a few highlights of the vast amount of work underway on site. We’ll have DPR Construction, the general contractor, provide more detail on the many phases of the construction.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you.

Employees enjoy the Groundbreaking Ceremony

By George Bischalaney, President & CEO, Eden Medical Center

It’s finally begun! Twelve years of planning, ten years of actively working, and finally, ground was broken on Wednesday July 1, 2009, for the new hospital on the Eden Medical Center campus. It has been an extraordinary effort by so many to get us here. Persistence, patience and untiring efforts have paid off.

The first phase of work involves relocation of the helipad, a necessary step to clear the way for development of the hospital and medical office building. It will be challenging throughout and very difficult at times.

The immediate impact is loss of on-campus parking. Not a lot, but unfortunately in a place where it is needed. This work is occurring adjacent to the Emergency and Trauma Services entry points. Ambulance bays remain accessible and the existing helicopter landing site remains functional throughout this phase. Parking for patients and visitors is affected and will be relocated a couple of times as work progresses.

Already there is activity in other areas of the broader construction zone. An apartment building facing Stanton Avenue was reduced to rubble in a matter of two days. The neighborhood is experiencing the onset of three years of traffic associated with the project, as debris is removed and equipment and supplies arrive.

Work was temporarily interrupted and the worksite cleaned up for a brief but well received ceremonial groundbreaking event on July 1. Employees, physicians, the project team and Eden Medical Center as well as Sutter Health leadership officially christened the site with the photo-op tossing of dirt. It was an exciting moment for those who have waited to so long for this day.

As the work progresses, our official site for tracking the work will keep those who check in up to date. And coming July 20, there will even be a webcam for viewing the work as it proceeds.

Let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Main Entrance

By Cassandra Clark, Project Communications Director

After much debate and public input, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to certify the EIR (Environmental Impact Report) and approve the zoning and land use entitlements for the new hospital to replace 54-year-old Eden Medical Center.

Passage of the EIR and land use entitlement approvals is a major milestone for the Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley project—and the communities that will be served by this new, state-of-the-art hospital and adjoining medical office building.

About 20 speakers addressed the Board of Supervisors about the new hospital as well as concerns about future plans for San Leandro Hospital. Eden President & CEO George Bischalaney expressed to the Board members the overwhelming support for the new hospital, even among those who encouraged rejection of the EIR to “save San Leandro Hospital.” Bischalaney and others urged Board members not to delay approvals in order to meet “a very tight project timeline” and advised the Board not to tie the new hospital project to the uncertainty around San Leandro Hospital’s future.

In the end, the Board of Supervisors maintained that its obligation was to make a decision on the land use entitlement proposal before them. However, Board members promised to continue to work with Sutter and the District to come up with an optimal plan for San Leandro Hospital, and to meet the health care needs of the communities.

We are grateful to the many people of Eden Medical Center, San Leandro Hospital and our communities for participating in this process. We had tremendous support at both Board of Supervisors meetings, through the petitions, and all the phone calls and letters of encouragement.

What Happens Now?

The Board’s approval clears the way for SMCCV to use the designated property to build the new hospital, which will be on the northwest side of the Eden Medical Center campus, adjacent to the existing hospital.

In the coming weeks, we will file the appropriate permits to begin work on the land, including the demolition of the vacant apartment building and other site improvements, and the foundation work for the actual construction of the new hospital. Oversight and approval for the further construction is handled by the
California Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development.

The immediate work around the campus will get the land ready for construction and help minimize delays so we can proceed with building the new hospital as soon as possible in order to meet the deadline for State-mandated earthquake safety requirements.

We look forward to moving ahead with the project. As always, your questions and comments are welcome on this blog and on our social networks!

George Bischalaney, President and CEO, Eden Medical Center

By George Bischalaney, President & CEO, Eden Medical Center

On May 12, 2009, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors deferred action on the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and related actions needed to begin the redevelopment of the Eden Medical Center campus.

The delays were for the most part caused by the late submission of information from a group opposing the approval.  Their opposition stems from a misguided effort to link the future of the San Leandro Hospital to the future of the new Eden campus hospital.  Opponents contend there is a nexus in the decision making as well as an unaddressed impact to the new Eden hospital.

Our initial assessment is twofold.  First, the future of each hospital is distinct from the other.  The Board of Supervisors’ actions regarding the Eden redevelopment will not affect the decision process to determine how the San Leandro campus will be used in the future.  Secondly, there was very little or nothing new in the comments that actually addressed the EIR itself.  Hopefully, the Board will draw the same conclusion and move forward with the needed approvals on June 9th.

Eden Medical Center
has been the designated trauma center for Southern Alameda County for more than 20 years.  It has served thousands of patients over that time, including victims of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that shut down the Bay Bridge and collapsed the Nimitz Freeway in Oakland.  It is absolutely critical that Eden is replaced as soon as possible.  Earthquakes, like all natural disasters, are unpredictable. People will rightfully ask why we weren’t prepared if avoidable delays in preparing for the inevitable are not overcome.  We have a need to rise above politics and special interests to meet a greater obligation of the health and well being of the community of being served.  People of good will and with good intentions can do so.  Let’s hope we see this kind of sentiment on June 9th.

You can take action and sign a petition to the Board of Supervisors and urge them to stop delays and vote yes on the EIR.  Please take a moment to sign the petition at the link below.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/rebuild-eden-medical-center

Thank you for your continued support of the new hospital.

Main Entrance at Twilight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re hosting another Community Open House on Wednesday night, March 18th, from 7:00-8:30 p.m., at the Eden Hospital Conference Center, 20103 Lake Chabot Road, in Castro Valley, California. You’ll be able to see more of the architectural renderings of the beautiful new Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley and get an update on our progress. You’ll learn more about the proposed schedule for construction, and get answers to your questions and concerns. We’ll be serving refreshments, and members of our project team will be available to talk with you. We look forward to seeing you there!

You can also stay informed by reading this blog regularly, especially if you subscribe by email or RSS feed. Just click on the orange RSS icon on the right side of the blue bar above for simple subscription instructions.

If you’re on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, FriendFeed, or other social networks, you’re invited to connect with us online. The links to our social network communities are in the right side bar. Our blog is also now featured in Alltop, in the Health section!

Please let us know if you’re a member of another online neighborhood, health care or business network that members of our project team might join to discuss plans for the new medical center. We would be glad to participate!

Jesus Armas

By Jesús Armas, Government Affairs Liaison

Last December, the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley project was released for public review and inspection, and a 45-day public comment period commenced. During this time (the comment period ended January 20, 2009), the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council and the Alameda County Planning Commission held public hearings to present their comments and to receive comments from interested individuals and organizations.

Additionally, the County’s Planning Department made the document available for review in its offices and in the Castro Valley library, and we posted the document here on our site. The local media also helped get the word out that the report was available for public review and comment.

As one of our previous blog posts indicated, the DEIR contains relevant information documenting whether and how the project is expected to impact the environment and how the identified impacts will be lessened. Established procedures determine which issues must be addressed in an EIR, but among the most common are traffic, air quality and noise.

The Planning Department is charged with the responsibility to collect public comments, and to prepare responses to all comments submitted by interested parties. The responses to the comments, together with the Draft EIR, constitute what is called the Final EIR. It is this latter document that is presented to and considered by the governmental body with authority to act on a project.

Now that the environmental review process has been completed, it is possible for the Castro Valley MAC, Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors to consider the merits of the project and decide whether to grant approval to move forward with this important and critical project for our community.

The MAC is tentatively scheduled to consider the project on March 23rd, while the Planning Commission is expected to do so on April 6th. A meeting date for the Board of Supervisors has not yet been established.

Once meeting dates, times, and locations are confirmed, we will post that information. We invite you to return to this site to get the most current information about these important meetings.

Prior to the formal meetings, we will be hosting a community and neighborhood meeting to review the project and respond to your questions in a more informal setting. The meeting will be held at Eden Medical Center’s Conference Center, 20103 Lake Chabot Road in Castro Valley, on March 18th, at 7 p.m.  We’ll have some exciting updates for you and a chance to meet and ask questions of the members of the project team.

As always, we welcome your comments at these meetings or on this blog.

By Cassandra Clark, Project Communications Director

We recently received a comment on our site regarding the relocation of Sazio’s Ristorante Italiano, located across and down the street from Eden Medical Center on Lake Chabot Road. The person asked, “How are you being a good neighbor by driving out a small family-owned business like Sazio’s without any relocation assistance?”

Like every issue, there is more to the story than what appears in the newspapers or is talked about in private circles. That’s why a blog is a great place to raise issues and open up a conversation.

Sazio’s restaurant has been in the same location for many years. They are wonderful people, serving excellent food (the ravioli is my favorite). The restaurant is located on a piece of property that includes single story medical office buildings and a few storefronts, where a sushi restaurant and barbershop were once located. Karen’s Flower Kottage was also on the site before they moved to a new location.

The property was sold to the Eden Township Healthcare District (not Sutter Health or Eden Medical Center) about three years ago. Since the purchase, the District has planned for medical office buildings and related parking to be built on the land.

While I do not speak for the District, it is important to know that every tenant of the property was fully informed that the site would eventually be converted to another use. All existing leases were honored through their expiration dates, or the tenant moved voluntarily, prior to the end of the lease. The owners of Sazio’s chose to wait, rather than take opportunities to move during the past three years. Ultimately, representatives from the District and Sazio’s will determine what lies ahead.

It is also worth noting that the plans for that site are not part of the Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley project. Our project is specifically for the construction of the new hospital and adjacent medical office building, site improvements and eventual deconstruction of the old hospital.

While at first glance it may appear to be all one big construction project on Lake Chabot Road, it is not. We have different owners, different plans, different processes and approvals and even different timeframes. What we have in common is our community’s healthcare needs. The District’s project will benefit physicians in the community—some of whom will be displaced when the new hospital work begins—by providing much needed medical space for their busy practices.

As always, we welcome your questions and comments, and we’ll respond as quickly as possible.

Main Entrance at Twilight The new year brings renewed energy and focus on our project, as we move toward completing the entitlements to begin construction of the Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley hospital. The first major step in that process is the completion of the Environmental Impact Report. In December 2008, the Alameda County Planning Commission filed the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), and it is now available for inspection and comment.

As a reminder, the second public hearing on the DEIR is scheduled for tonight, Monday, January 5, 2009, at 6:00 p.m., in the Public Hearing Room of the Alameda County Planning Commission, 224 West Winton Avenue, in Hayward.

Of course, this isn’t the only opportunity to comment. The County can provide you with copies of the DEIR, or you can view them here, and you can send correspondence to the County directly in response to the DEIR. All of these links are provided here for your convenience.

In the meantime, we continue to grow our online network to keep our communities informed about our progress. We are still in the early stages, and we expect to continue to develop our online communities over the next several years through the construction period. Look for us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, FriendFeed and other popular sites, linked from the icons in the right sidebar.

You can also connect to us through your own social media networks. Contact our Social Media Team to let us know the URL (Web address) for your business, neighborhood or other social network where it might be appropriate for us to comment and discuss the new hospital with your online community.

Here’s to a healthy New Year!

Cassandra Phelps Clark
Project Communications Director

Neighbors and Community Members at October 22, 2008 Launch Event

Neighbors and Community Members at October 22, 2008 Launch Event

By Cassandra Clark, Project Communications Director

On October 22, 2008, we invited the community—and particularly the neighbors—around Eden Medical Center to come to the hospital to learn about the new Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley project. We had representatives from the hospital, Devenney Group (the architectural team), Sutter Health, the social media team, and others available to meet our neighbors, hear their feedback and answer their questions. We’ll be posting video clips from the event in the next few days, so keep an eye on our Video Gallery and the featured video box in the right sidebar.

The good news was that the project was well-received, with high praise for the design and sensitivity to the community. We had great questions asked of us, and excellent comments for us to consider as we move ahead (regarding traffic patterns, noise abatement and other important concerns). While we had a very active and interested audience, we hope even more people in the community will join us at future events we plan to host in the coming year. Keep reading this blog, because we’ll announce upcoming community events here.

We realize that people are very busy, and going to the hospital isn’t something most people like to do even when they are healthy! So, we plan to take our presentation on the road, attending events and meetings to hear what folks have to say. We’ll post any future meeting dates and times in our News Room. And, of course, we will use this new blog site to reach a much wider audience, particularly those who live in our community who may not otherwise get involved.

There is a misperception that the people in Castro Valley, San Leandro, Hayward and beyond are not too familiar with social networks, blogs and all the new ways to communicate with each other over the Internet. I hope to change that perception by grabbing new readers and subscribers in our area and far beyond.

So, think of this site as our community meeting. Stay informed. Subscribe to this blog to get regular updates by email or RSS feed. Tell us what you think by commenting on individual posts. Together, we have a great opportunity to shape the future of our medical center.


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