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Palomar Health makes top newsmaker list for 2012


By Elizabeth Himchak

Poway News Chieftain

This has been a year of changes and long-awaited advancements for the area’s health care providers.

On April 21, a community celebration marked the 35th anniversary of Pomerado Hospital. It opened on June 29, 1977 with 130 patient beds, 200 employees and more than 50 physicians. The 150,000-square-foot hospital cost $17.5 million for construction and equipment. Over the years, facilities added included an expanded birthing center, Villa Pomerado skilled nursing facility and Pomerado Outpatient Pavilion.

The biggest step forward in area medicine came in August when the new Palomar Medical Center opened. Thousands of area residents got a sneak peek at the “Hospital of the Future” on July 28 when they toured the 11-story, 740,000-square-foot, 288-patient bed, $956 million facility at 2185 W. Citracado Parkway in Escondido.

On Aug. 19, a carefully orchestrated switch occurred when Palomar Health relocated its emergency department and trauma center from the original Palomar Medical Center at 555 E. Valley Parkway in Escondido. The new ER has 48 rooms among three “pods” and two large trauma suites. The previous ER had 29 beds.

The original Palomar Medical Center, that opened in February 1950 with 37 beds, became the Palomar Health Downtown Campus providing speciality services including women’s, children’s, rehabilitation, behavioral health and urgent care.

The new hospital has the latest in technology and a hotel-like atmosphere.

Read the entire story about Palomar Health's historic 2012 in the Poway News Chieftain.

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