Palomar health unveils expanded Emergency Department


Pod D Will Improve Patient Experience
Palomar Medical Center Escondido is expanding its Emergency Department to meet the needs of a growing community. On Monday, March 12 at 2 p.m., hospital leaders, patients, and community members cut the ribbon on Pod D, the 4,500 square foot, 14-patient bed Emergency Department (ED) expansion.

Palomar Medical Center Escondido opened in August 2012 with 52 licensed beds in the ED across three pods and treated 63,000 patients its first full year. This year the ED expects to treat 112,000, making it one of the busiest emergency departments in California. When Pod D sees its first patient in April, it will have eight private rooms, six treatment bays, a centralized nurse’s station, and all new life-saving equipment.

“Palomar Medical Center Escondido was built to support a growing community,” Palomar Health Interim President and CEO Diane Hansen said. “Over the past few years the needs in this community have grown and we knew it was time to meet those needs. With this emergency department expansion, I am happy Palomar Health is able to continue to provide quality healthcare to those who need it most.” 

The hospital was built with several shelled spaces throughout the building to easily accommodate future growth. This addition will allow for better patient flow through the hospital by adding space to treat high acuity patients, reducing wait times with more treatment areas and improving patient satisfaction. 

“The staff is excited for Pod D to open,” said Palomar Health Director of Emergency Services Michelle Gunnett. “Additional bed space will help us see and treat patients in a timelier manner.” 

About $2 million of the $4.7 million project was paid for through a fundraising campaign led by the Palomar Health Foundation including major donations from the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians ($300,000); the emergency room physicians group Vituity ($100,000); Palomar Health medical staff ($50,000); and Palomar Health patients John Forst and Don Belcher ($50,000) each.
About Palomar Health
Palomar Health is the most comprehensive health care delivery system in northern San Diego County and the first California member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. It is the largest public healthcare district by area in the state, with more than 500,000 residents, and is governed by a publicly-elected board of directors. Palomar Health has several facilities serving North County, including hospitals in Escondido and Poway, expresscare health clinics in Escondido and San Elijo Hills, and a skilled nursing facility in Poway. The health system provides medical services in virtually all fields of medicine, including primary care, cardiovascular care, emergency services, trauma, cancer, orthopedics, women’s health, rehabilitation, robotic surgery and bariatric surgery. For more information about Palomar Health, please visit

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