Hospital expansion underway
Tahoe Forest Hospital kicked off the largest phase of its $23 million expansion and renovation project last Saturday.
More than 130 people traveled through the May showers for the groundbreaking of the second, 47,000 square-foot phase of the hospital’s expansion.
“Thank you for coming on this less-than-perfect weather day,” hospital board president Dr. Karen Sessler said to the crowd of hospital staff, community leaders, Tahoe Forest Hospital Foundation campaign cabinet members and interested Truckee-area residents.
Sessler commented on the 50-year-old hospital’s need for the expansion, saying the facilities are outdated, the inpatient rooms are too small and the facilities are not up to par with the level of care the hospital’s staff provides.
Several hospital officials from past and present spoke before the official groundbreaking. Reverend Leonard Shaheen, a 24-year hospital board member, provided some insight into the importance of the decision to expand the hospital grounds.
“When we started to set aside this building and purchase the land around here, we asked ourselves: Do we really want to do this? Today, that answer is yes,” he said.
Chief of staff Dr. Chris Arth, who has worked at Tahoe Forest for 24 years, also provided some perspective on the occasion.
“Hopefully we’ve seen the end of the days when patients are carted across the parking lot from their MRI,” Arth said.
The concept for the expansion originated with California State Senate Bill 1953, an act requiring all hospitals to retrofit, rebuild or close their general acute care inpatient hospital buildings by Dec. 31, 2007 if the building doesn’t meet strict new seismic safety standards.
Tahoe Forest administrators took the opportunity to update and expand their existing 50-year-old plant, resulting in two new operating rooms, a remodel on existing facilities, and a 47,000-square-foot west wing addition set for completion in 2006.
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