Scripps Health begins $2B improvement plan

San Diego-based Scripps Health will rebuild an existing hospital and construct research labs and physician offices as part of a $2 billion improvement plan, the non-profit healthcare system announced yesterday. The 25-year "master plan" will enable Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla to meet state seismic safety regulations, which require all hospitals to be earthquake proof by 2030, reports Becker's Hospital Review.

Scripps will eventually build three new hospital towers on its 43-acre campus. As the largest provider of heart disease treatment in the area, the first hospital tower will house the Scripps Cardiovascular Institute, hospital officials said. Construction for the eight-story, 383,000-square-foot tower will cost $398 million, which is slated to open for patient care in 2015.

"This will be a regional campus dedicated to the patient as well as to fully applying the technologies of the future," Scripps Chief Medical Officer Brent Eastman said in a statement. "The medical care of the future--to be delivered here--incorporates wireless technology, robotic surgery, digital monitoring and record-keeping, and high-tech operating rooms, in a setting designed for and around the patient."

Philanthropy has been a crucial source of funding for Scripps' growth and expansion, noted President and CEO Chris Van Gorder. "Community support has been an important part of Scripps history, thanks to the generosity of grateful patients, and will be a critical part of future plans."

According to Van Gorder, the La Jolla improvements will be funded by operating revenues, borrowing and community support. So far, $32 million has been donated toward the $125 million fundraising goal for the first tower.

The master plan has been submitted to City of San Diego and is currently under review.

For more:
- read the San Diego Business Journal article
- read the Becker's Hospital Review article
- here's the Scripps press release