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Sharp Grossmont breaks ground for heart center

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The Grossmont Healthcare District and Sharp Grossmont Hospital held a joint groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for a new Heart and Vascular Center on the hospital's campus.

The event included a presentation of architectural plans and the launch of a $10 million capital campaign for medical technology and equipment at the new center.

More than $60 million to build the Heart and Vascular Center is being paid for by East County taxpayers, who passed a $247 million bond measure, Proposition G, in June 2006.

As proposed in the hospital's Facilities Master Site Plan, Proposition G is funding several infrastructure construction improvements at the publicly owned hospital, which opened in 1955. The bond-financed construction began in 2007, and is scheduled to continue for several years.

Since Proposition G bond dollars are allocated only for construction costs, the Grossmont Hospital Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps raise funds for Sharp Grossmont Hospital, has begun raising $10 million for medical technology and equipment for the new Heart and Vascular Center.

Rendering courtesy of Sharp

Donors introduced at the groundbreaking ceremony included Ed and Sandy Burr of Edco Disposal Corp., who are serving as fundraising co-chairs. Hospital officials said the top three contributors to the campaign -- Bill Verbeck, Dave Salo and the Burrs -- have pledged a combined total of $3 million.

Additional donations for the capital campaign include $500,000 from the Price Family Fund, $500,000 from the Grossmont Hospital Auxiliary, $300,000 from Sharp Grossmont Hospital employees and $500,000 pledged by the Grossmont Hospital medical staff.

The three-story, 71,000-square-foot Heart and Vascular Center will enhance the hospital's ability and capacity to treat acute care patients. The center will expand the hospital's surgery capabilities with new cardiac catheterization labs and multipurpose procedural rooms that can support general surgery, minimally invasive surgery and image-guided surgery, as well as endovascular interventional procedures.

The Heart and Vascular Center will have three levels specifically designed to treat the challenges of heart and vascular diseases and defects. Rather than being a stand-alone building, the new center will be placed next to the hospital's current operating rooms and cardiac catheterization (cath) labs.

New square footage will total 71,000 with an additional 17,000 of planned square footage to renovate older areas of the hospital and replace them with new functions.

Level 1 will have four hybrid operating rooms and four cath labs. Level A will have a pharmacy and clinical laboratory, and Level B will hold supply services space and new loading docks.

Starting in April 2013, construction of lower Level B will begin, with work on the middle level for the clinical lab and pharmacy to be completed by March 2015. The building-out of the top Level 1, including cath labs and operating rooms, will occur by mid-2017.

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