Groundbreaking marks major step for hospital expansion

Expansion plans at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas took a major step forward with today’s groundbreaking of a Critical Care Building, which will more than double the size of the hospital’s current emergency department and increase the number of medical-surgical beds by 43 percent.The Critical Care Building is the centerpiece of the hospital’s $94 million second phase of expansion, which also includes a new central energy plant and various infrastructure improvements on and around the medical campus.The population of the hospital’s surrounding area has increased by more than 20 percent during the past decade, according to the San Diego Association of Governments. During the same time period, the overall number of annual patient visits to the hospital has also increased by more than 20 percent. The Critical Care Building will be the first patient care facility to be built at Scripps Encinitas since 1992.

The Critical Care Building and central energy plant are being built on the site of a former parking lot on the southwest part of the hospital campus. Totaling 61,643 square feet, the two-story Critical Care Building is expected to be open for patient care by early summer 2014.

The Critical Care Building’s first floor will house a 27-bed emergency department, with all private rooms for greater patient confidentiality and comfort. The new facility will replace Scripps Encinitas’ current 12-bed emergency department.

The Critical Care Building’s second floor will be home to 36 medical-surgical inpatient beds, which are used by patients who are recovering from surgery or are recuperating from acute illnesses

All medical-surgical beds will be in private rooms and will offer window views and ample space so friends and family can visit or stay overnight. The 36 new medical-surgical beds will represent an addition to the hospital’s existing quantity of 83.

Technology inside the Critical Care Building will include new MRI, CT scanner and diagnostic X-ray units. All patient rooms on both floors will also have access to a telemetry system to provide continuous wireless monitoring of patient vital signs.

The Critical Care Building also will offer improved access for first responders, with six ambulance bays – triple the number currently available. The roof will include a helipad, which will be used primarily for transporting patients out of the hospital to a designated trauma center, or for transporting newborns in distress to Rady Children’s Hospital.

The project also includes construction of a 10,678-square-foot, high-efficiency central energy plant, which will be the new primary source of utilities serving future patient care facilities on campus.

Costs to build and equip the campus expansion will be funded through a combination of philanthropic gifts, income from operations and debt financing.

Scripps recently launched a grassroots campaign to encourage donations from local residents to support this important expansion. This public fundraising drive – the 354 Campaign – seeks to raise $1 million in donations ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 to complement Scripps’ ongoing philanthropic outreach efforts. More information on giving opportunities is available at


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