Hoag Irvine Opens New Emergency Department

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Irvine promotes itself as the safest city in the country crime wise.

For accident rates and medical emergencies among its some 277,000 residents, maybe not so much.

“When we took over the hospital in 2010, we anticipated 50 [emergency department] visits a day, based on the prior hospital operator’s daily census,” said Marcy Brown, vice president of Hoag Hospital Irvine and Ambulatory Services.

But, “quickly we were seeing more than 100 patients a day.”

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian bought the property, formerly Irvine Regional Hospital, in 2009 from Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp.

Irvine’s population jumped about 20% since then as it experienced some of California’s fastest growth.

The population explosion, along with a larger-than-expected usage rate, are the main reasons the Newport Beach-based hospital unveiled the Benjamin & Carmela Du Emergency Pavilion at its Irvine campus last week.

The 13,500-square-foot facility a block from the San Diego (405) Freeway on Sand Canyon Avenue is five times the size of the original space.

Its cost hasn’t been disclosed; similar centers can cost more than $1,000 a square foot, not including equipment, according to construction trade publication data.

The new emergency department is now open to the public, and the original 3,600-square-foot emergency space will undergo renovation, the final phase of the hospital’s emergency room expansion project, which will be done early next year.

There will be 38 treatment spaces and 32 private treatment rooms at the expanded facility, up from 14 treatment spaces and eight beds.

About 120 hospital staff are based there.

Different Experience

Brown said the facility is designed to optimize efficiency, enhance patient experience, and improve care for complex patient conditions.

During a recent tour of the property, she pointed out two triage areas and four fast-track stations, compartmentalized with curtains.

“These fast-track stations are for people who really should be at urgent care,” said Brown, naming conditions such as sore throats, upset stomachs and ankle sprains.

Hoag opened a new urgent care facility—which offers lower-cost service than emergency room visits—across the street from the main hospital facility in 2016.

It’s part of Hoag Health Center, a 150,000-square-foot expansion that also includes ambulatory care, medical offices and other services.

“But if they ended up coming here, we can triage and treat them faster in fast-track bays,” Brown said.

The private rooms were designed with input from doctors and nurses, resulting in decisions such as placing the computer and charts on the left side of the room because care providers work from the left side.

Rooms are spacious, bright with natural light, and come with a flat-screen TV. “We want to provide that nice healing environment,” Brown said.

She said there are four high acuity treatment rooms, an obstetrics emergency room and three stroke/cardiac rooms.

“Everything they need to treat the patient is an arm’s length away.”

Expanding Campus

Brown, who joined Hoag in 2002, manages daily operations of Hoag Hospital Irvine and oversees all Hoag Health Center operations.

She was also instrumental in the strategic planning and operational strategy of Hoag Health Center, the three-building ambulatory-care and urgent-care facility on the opposite side of Sand Canyon Avenue.

“This is one of our most rapidly growing communities,” said Brown, referring to the provider’s Irvine campus on Sand Canyon Avenue.

More is on the way. Hoag Hospital Irvine started construction in March on a 12-suite maternity unit scheduled to open in the summer of 2020. The 18,000-square-foot facility will house a dozen 500-square-foot suites designed to make women feel at home during childbirth by allowing them to deliver and recover in one room. In a typical hospital, women deliver in one room and are transferred to another for recovery.

“We have a lot of young families in this community,” she said.

Prior to joining Hoag, Brown was director of medical imaging at Swedish Medical Center-Providence campus in Seattle, where she managed the medical imaging and radiation oncology departments and comprehensive breast center. She currently runs the Irvine hospital’s radiology department, in addition to her other duties.


The costs of the emergency department expansion and renovation were largely funded by individual and corporate donations.

Benjamin and Carmela Du contributed $5 million. Benjamin founded Flojet Corp., a manufacturer of water pumps and other products with operations in Irvine. Carmela was its chief financial officer.

The Newport Beach residents have funded other area Hoag projects.

In addition to Dus’ gift, the OC philanthropic community contributed more than $8.5 million, including donors Missy Pace Callero and Chris Callero and David and Michelle Horowitz, both couples of whom gave $1 million.

Other community members supporting the cause include Daphne and Kai Liang, Jessica Liang Kim and Andrew Kim, David and Diana Sun, the Pacific Life Foundation and Sandy Fainbarg.

To view the originalOrange County Business Journal article, please click here.

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