The final renovation and remodel of the Palm Drive Hospital is expected to be complete by the end of the week. The hospital supporters are hoping that after the yearlong retooling, the hospital will reopen next week, however, depending on the final bureaucratic inspections.

The CEO and president of the hospital Raymond Hino said the state inspectors are to sign off on the new facility once all the renovations is done, hence, it is nearing the finish line. Hino also expressed his excitement, saying that the rest of the remodeling project also includes replacement of the kitchen’s hot water up to the pharmaceutical remodeling.

Officials from the State Health Planning and Development will inspect the facility, ensuring that standards are met, followed by the health inspection team to make sure that the facility is able to meet hospital standards. Hino added that the officials will find supplies on the shelves, proper documentation system, as well as qualified doctors, nurses, staff, and support staff.

The new hospital is being directed by the West Medical Foundation in the county, expecting to provide 25-bed acute care hospital, along with a bevy of medical institutes that will help in covering the costs of inpatient services, including a new emergency room.

The facility initially closed in April 2014 after its declaration of bankruptcy attributed to several factors including reduced health plan payments. After meetings and talks between the foundation and the district, the foundation’s proposed plan to reopen the facility eventually triumphed. Amongst the supporters of the facility was retired police officer Dennis Colthurst and Dr. Richard Powers, both were elected to sit on the district board.

The remodeling and renovation work involved 4 main projects, including the replacement of the liquid oxygen storage tank, fixing the emergency generator, replacement of the hot water booster, and the remodeling of the pharmacy, which is to be completed within the week.

Hino could not indicate a specific date of the reopening, however, the completion is of top priority at the moment in order for the inspection to push through. Ideally, he said, that might take place towards the last week of the month.

In spite the nearing of the completion, the “Russian River” group, as what they call themselves, is a group of residents who are calling on the Palm Drive Health Care District to detach them from the boundaries of the district. During last week’s hospital board meeting, the same group also asked for their respective properties to be removed or separated from the district’s boundaries, saying that they do not get anything from the health care district.

Although there might be a “detachment” process of the group from the district’s boundaries, the Local Agency Formation Commission of the county would have to require a 10,000-dollar deposit as the agency will oversee the process. Last week, the board disapproved the motion to fund, killing the initial hopes of the group that the board might want to initiate the payment process. A group member Barbara DeCarly said their group is reassessing other options.


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