Sen. Atkins visits UCSD Medical Center as hospital prepares for project

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins visited UC San Diego Medical Center Friday to recognize a $30 million allocation in the 2021-2022 California state budget that will support the redevelopment of the new Hillcrest hospital.

“When COVID-19 swept through our nation, it opened our eyes in ways we never could have imagined,” Atkins said. “In particular, it underscored how critical it is that everyone has access to quality health care.

“State-of-the-art facilities and impeccably trained health care workers are key components of making that a reality,” she continued. “With these budget funds, UC San Diego Health’s Hillcrest campus will be able to elevate the already exceptional care and medical education provided to the region and take it to the next level.”

According to a hospital statement, the project is necessary to comply with seismic safety provisions of the California Hospital Code and provides the opportunity to design and build modern, sustainable and efficient medical facilities.

“Rebuilding UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest is essential to continuing comprehensive hospital care and expanding vital outpatient services for San Diegans,” said UCSD Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “UC San Diego is upgrading the Hillcrest site with modern, sustainable and efficient medical facilities that are easier to access, offer more services and are better integrated into the surrounding neighborhood.”

Covering approximately 60 acres, the Hillcrest campus houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, Regional Burn Center and Comprehensive Stroke Center. The 390-bed hospital serves San Diego and Imperial County residents, along with parts of Riverside County.

“We are so grateful to Senator Atkins for the generous allocation that will not only go towards the planning, design, site development and construction of the project, but will also help us expand and enhance our academic health system, where teaching, research and patient care merge,” said Patty Maysent, CEO of UCSD Health.

An academic medical center, UCSD Health maintains a two-campus strategy, combining research, teaching and clinical care at its Hillcrest and La Jolla locations. UCSD has had a presence in Hillcrest since 1966, when the university began operating the former county hospital.

The transformation of the hospital campus in Hillcrest is part of a long-range development plan which includes a 250,000-square-foot outpatient pavilion with specialty clinical programs, such as oncology, cardiology, neurosurgery and orthopedics, as well as ambulatory surgery operating rooms, gastroenterology procedure rooms, advanced imaging, infusion and radiation oncology.

The new hospital is intended to be the cornerstone of a redevelopment project that will also feature a wellness center for campus and community and up to 1,000 units of workforce housing.

Construction for the project is anticipated to start in the fall and continue over approximately 15 years in five major phases, implemented to reduce impact on the surrounding community while ensuring current, critical campus functions remain operational.

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