Dignity Health Town Hall Meeting With City Council Member Stephanie Nguyen
Elk Grove City Council Member Stephanie Nguyen and Methodist Hospital President Phyllis Baltz hosted a Town Hall meeting for the community of Elk Grove regarding Dignity Health’s future hospital. This session was held at Dignity’s Health’s medical office building on Wymark Drive with a small audience. The meeting was short but covered a lot of information regarding plans for the new Dignity Health Hospital.
Nguyen began the meeting with opening remarks as this hospital is in the district she represents. As a representative, Nguyen sponsored this meeting in junction with Dignity Health to ensure that the information is transparent for the community.
President of Methodist Hospital
After Nguyen’s opening remarks, Phyllis Baltz, president of Dignity Health’s Methodist Hospital in Sacramento provided an overview of the hospital plans. As Baltz described the journey of the project, it was apparent that Dignity Health has been consistent with their message and information. Baltz proceeded with the schedule for completion of the $367 million dollar hospital.
The estimated target date is sometime in 2026 or 2027 as the project groundbreaking beginning in 2023 or 2024. This was forecasted from the project as entitlements were completed in 2013 and the current steps of the project. Additionally, the hospital will be built to 2030 building standards for level 8 earthquakes. This also means that the hospital is equipped to operate without power for 3 days. With this amount of time, it allows patients to be evacuated in a safe manner if needed.
“It takes about 3 years to built it right,” said Baltz.
As the project is underway for the necessary process, the Dignity Health organization is being proactive in ensuring that the hospital project is successful. They are already creating a bridge document required for later in the project. For this hospital, Dignity Health will also serve Sacramento, Galt, and Wilton residents for care.
The project has 4 major phases for the 28-acre lot. President Baltz explained that Dignity Health has done a diligent look at the population, growth trends, healthcare trends, disease incident, and put that all into the model that has around 100 beds to start for the hospital to start servicing the community. In phase 1, the initial hospital will be built with the initial $327 million and 100 beds. The project is allotted 300 beds total. Thus, the remaining 200 beds would ostensibly be built out during phase 2 and phase 3 if needed. During phase 2, the expansion will create 6 floors attached to the hospital. In phase 3, it expands the hospital adjacent to phase 2. Finally, phase 4 would create a separate building for other hospital needs. Moreover, the expected time frame for phase 2 is 5 to 10 years out. Phase 2,3, and 4 will only move forward if needed to accommodate the growth in Elk Grove. Additionally, a parking structure would be built that would be an estimated 5 stories high.
Questions and Answers
Following Baltz’s overview of the project and status, Baltz opened up the floor for attendees to ask questions.
One member asked a question about a level 2 trauma center. “How does a level 2 trauma center work?” My understanding is that there Kaiser South is a level 2 trauma center catered to meet the needs of the south area. But there is a suggestion that a third hospital is needed (outside of UC Davis and Kaiser South) to meet the needs of the I-5 corridor and I don’t quite get that.”
“A Level 2 Trauma Center means that the hospital is equipped to serve a trauma patient up to 50 miles,” Baltz responded.
“Is there a rule of thumb when looking at population size in terms of beds to the population?” asked another audience member.
Baltz responded swiftly. “With Elk Grove, Sacramento, Galt, and Wilton, we look at the number of people and age groups. Looking at the data, we can get an idea of the growth of the population to ensure the number of beds is adequate.”
Also during the Q&A, the layout for the project was shared with the audience. This layout depicts the hospital arrangements as well as the phases. Important to note, this was insightful for the audience as it helped everyone understand what is actually going to be built.
After the questions from the audience were all answered, Nguyen returned back to the spotlight. She closed the meeting with the following statement: “Having a small crowd is not a bad thing because it means you did everything right, and they have no question because you were very transparent.”
Comments from Lynn Wheat
“It’s appreciated that Dignity Health is transparent about the hospital and the plans.”
Comments From Phyllis Baltz
“We’re grateful to Councilwoman Nguyen for bringing her constituents together to learn more about Dignity Health’s plans to build Elk Grove’s first hospital. Community forums like these are a great way to strengthen the relationships we have with the City of Elk Grove and its residents. We have deep roots in Elk Grove, and we’re excited to expand with a new hospital, bringing more of our expertise, technology, and understanding of the future of medicine to this community,” said Phyllis Baltz, President of Methodist Hospital of Sacramento.
“Elk Grove deserves world-class health care that is reflective of the community’s needs and delivered with compassion and excellence. I look forward to more opportunities in the coming weeks and months to listen to the community and share more about our plans to partner with them as the local health care provider.”
Comments From Stephanie Nguyen
“Dignity Health has played a role in the growth of this community and they had the vision to recognize that Elk Grove is the perfect location for a hospital. This hospital will give people throughout Elk Grove, South Sacramento, and the region the tools they need to lead healthier lives and receive the clinical care they need. Furthermore, this hospital will create more jobs in this area. I look forward to continuing to work with Dignity Health as we share with the community the plans and details of this new state-of-the-art hospital.”