Friday, January 16, 2009

NorthBay to start construction on $5.5M lab

NorthBay to start construction on $5.5M lab
San Francisco Business Times - by Albert C. Pacciorini
Thursday, January 15, 2009

Construction will begin the last week of January on a $5.5 million medical laboratory at NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield — it’s twice the size of the hospital’s existing lab.

Planning, permits and funding held up the project. NorthBay Healthcare now has the last of the state and city permits needed to build the 4,000-square-foot lab, which should open by January 2010. Financing came as part of a sale of bonds from NorthBay’s larger capital improvement program that includes new administration offices.

Hearn Construction of Vacaville is the contractor. The lab will be built on the front side of the hospital near the ambulance entrance to the Emergency Department.

“Our people in the lab have done awesome work in some very crowded, outdated conditions. I’m sure this will increase productivity,” said Bridgit Strachan, vice president of quality and professional/support services.

The hospital needed more space to handle its current load and to add new programs, such as the NorthBay Heart & Vascular Center, which should start in April, said Strachan.

The 1,979 square foot space being vacated by the current laboratory will eventually become a pharmacy, pending funding. The economic downturn and cuts community nonprofit hospitals are experiencing from state and federal governments, will delay that project.

“We continue to endure lower rates of reimbursement for those people covered by Medi-Cal and Medicaid,” said Steve Huddleston, vice president of public affairs for NorthBay.

Nonprofit NorthBay Healthcare operates NorthBay Medical Center at 1200 B. Gale Wilson Blvd., Fairfield, VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville and other clinics in northern Solano County. / (925) 598-1430