Ventura, CA – The Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC) has been selected to receive a $15 million grant from the California Health Facilities Authority for the construction and operating equipment of a Pediatric Unit.
“We are grateful for this funding opportunity. It allows us to undertake a project that is directly aligned with work we are doing across the agency to build our pediatric system to help the most vulnerable in our region,” said Ventura County Medical Center and Santa Paula Hospital CEO Doctor John Fankhauser. “We believe all children should have access to the very best services available. Children are cared for at VCMC without regard to their family’s ability to pay by a facility that has been recognized for excellence in care, including being honored as the number one Family Medicine Residency Program in the nation.”
Recent growth in pediatric services includes the reopening of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, the addition of pediatric plastic surgery and continued development of pediatric cancer care, pediatric surgery, pediatric orthopedics and the neonatal intensive care unit. The County also has a partnership with the Ronald McDonald House Charities which will culminate in the construction of a Ronald McDonald Family Room and Quiet Room. These rooms will be special places for families facing very difficult times.
“This is an incredible opportunity. It validates and strengthens the comprehensive pediatric program that has been developed in our County health care system, as well as the high quality of our talented and dedicated pediatric providers. The Pediatric Unit and expansive subspecialty services are vital, truly lifesaving. Having local access to these services takes the burden from families so they do not have to travel far to get the care their children need,” said Ventura County Executive Officer Mike Powers.
The completion of the 20-bed pediatric unit is planned for March 2022. The entire project also includes 18 definitive observation unit beds and 22 medical and surgical beds as well as modifications to the helicopter pad required to accommodate larger Firehawk helicopters.
“We’re very proud of our high-quality pediatric services at VCMC which address a significant need in our County. This project will provide state-of-the-art facilities to allow us to grow our pediatric program in partnership with our superb physicians and staff,” said Ventura County Health Care Agency Director Bill Foley.
In November 2018, California voters approved Proposition 4, the Children’s Hospital Bond Act of 2018, enabling California to issue $1.5 billion in general obligation bonds to fund the Program. “The purpose of the Program is to improve the health and welfare of California’s critically ill children by providing a stable and ready source of funds for capital improvement projects,” said California Health Facilities Financing Authority Executive Director Frank Moore. “California’s network of regional children’s hospitals provide vital health care services to children in need over one million times a year. Many of the children that are seen at these hospitals have complex and life-threatening illnesses because these hospitals have the most specialized pediatric specialists capable of addressing these illnesses.”
California Health Facilities Financing Authority offered grants of up to $15 million through California’s Proposition 4 funding which allows for a total of $150 million to be provided to general hospitals for construction of pediatric programs within their hospitals. “California’s children deserve access to the best healthcare, regardless of family income,” said California State Treasurer Fiona Ma. “This program provides the funds for capital improvement projects for hospitals to improve the health, welfare, and safety of California’s critically ill children.” The Ventura County Medical Center was one of 11 hospitals that received an award including; Pomona Valley, Bakersfield Memorial, St Joseph’s Stockton, Providence/Cedars-Sinai of Tarzana, Northridge, Arrowhead Regional, Kaweah Delta, California Hospital Medical Center, Santa Barbara Cottage, and Kern Medical Center.
“This grant is vital to the mission of our hospital. With the creation of a new and expanded Pediatric Unit we will be able to continue and improve our ability to treat very sick children,” said Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Medical Director Doctor Jesse Wyatt.
The Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC) is a fully integrated, comprehensive system of hospital, clinic and specialty services. The system provides access to high quality, compassionate health care to residents throughout Ventura County. While VCMC provides access to health care to all residents of our county, special emphasis is placed on providing access to care for the underserved and those facing barriers to access. Referred to as the “safety net” population, these individuals comprise over three quarters of the care provided at VCMC.