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My Tour of the New Palomar Medical Center!
By Carol LeBeau
7/20/2012 11:16:17 AM


With its majestic almost surreal presence – North County’s new Palomar Medical Center has been on the rise since early 2008.  At last, the technical architectural wonder is ready for business and you can be among the first to see it!

The Community Celebration is Saturday, July 28, from 4 – 9 p.m. and you don’t want to miss out…because if you think the 11-story edifice glistening in the sun atop a hill in Escondido is awesome on the outside – wait till you step inside!

Behind the dramatic walls of glass is an amazement of technology and design.  It’s breathtaking! I’m not exaggerating.  My recent tour of the facility literally took my breath away.  The lobby alone is so luxurious, I felt like I was entering a five-star resort and spa.

Bright and bathed in natural light, the enormous foyer is an extraordinary blend of colors designed to create calm – a design element found throughout the entire hospital building. Mouth agape, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It’s drop-dead gorgeous.

The absolutely stunning ER and Trauma Department just off the lobby are thoughtfully designed to help patients and their families navigate the emergency care process.  I counted 50 treatment rooms, not curtained-off spaces, but large, private rooms equipped with state-of-the-art imaging and other specialized equipment that can save minutes when it really counts. Trust me, it’s where you want to be in an emergency.

As we moved to the surgery and procedures department, I began running out of superlatives to describe what I was seeing…like 12 gi-normouos, shiny “hi-tech” surgical suites and six Cath Lab and radiology suites so futuristic, I felt like I’d been beamed aboard the star ship “Enterprise!” 

But the future is what it’s all about, according to our tour guide, Gerald Bracht.  He’s Palomar Medical Center’s chief administrative officer and may be the best part of our tour.  Gerald’s excitement about the “hospital of the future” is contagious.  “Our goal,” Gerald gushed, “was to build a facility that can adapt to future technologies and innovations even though we don’t know exactly what they’ll be!” 

To that end, a structural steel truss system allows equipment to hang from the ceiling leaving floors free of obstruction. It will also help in future installations of new technology.

Our tour continued, with Gerald enthusiastically pointing out the cool design element that literally funnels natural light into the work areas deep within the building. With large windows in each OR open to atriums with native vegetation – even the surgeons have a room with a view! 

Speaking of rooms with views – our trip to the 11-story patient tower was the tour “coup de gras.” 

Allow me to set the stage:

Imagine spending the night in an over-sized suite-style room with floor to ceiling windows overlooking tranquil gardens or rolling, green hills.

Comfortable, quiet and private – the rooms are decorated in soothing earth tones with a spacious, well-appointed bathroom, wall-mounted flat screen TV and plush pull-out sofa and chair. 

It’s not a luxury hotel but Palomar Medical Center’s stunning, new hospital rooms were designed to make patients happier, healthier and heal faster so they can go home sooner. (Seriously, I thought about checking in and getting my appendix removed just for the chance to spend the night!)

I could go on about nursing stations placed outside each patient’s room…the ingenious hospital-wide “tube” system that moves specimens and other items almost instantly from floor to floor… peaceful family consult rooms, a “green” roof, action-sensored lighting, video phones, state-of-the-art wireless communication throughout the building…it’s truly mind-boggling.  

Beautiful artwork, charming patios and lobbies – even the hospital flooring is a soothing combination of soft earth tones.

At one point, gazing over the sixth floor balcony, I had to remind myself I was not aboard an elegant cruise ship but inside the most magnificent hospital in the nation.

Doors open August 19 but you can get a peek at your amazing new hospital at the July 28th Community Celebration from 4 – 9 p.m.  Join us and be part of history in the making.

See you there! I’ll be the one with my mouth hanging open!

For more information on the Community Celebration, go to www.PalomarHealth.org/opening.

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.



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