Based on the needs assessment survey completed by 400 Laguna Beach residents, the hospital culled out three issues for immediate attention: prevention of drug and alcohol use by the city's youth, depression, and job skills for the homeless population.
Cowley said a lot had been accomplished in the previous 12 months.
"We were all just saying that we couldn't believe it has already been one year since we officially received the keys and moved in last year," Cowley said. "But we were here at midnight June 30 . We knew it would be a challenge."
Challenges included an aging structure, but ensuring a safe environment for patients was a top priority.
"We committed $3 million even before we took ownership," Cowley said.
That money went toward renovations of the infrastructure. Another $8 to $10 million was committed for refurbishments — some not readily visible, but essential — such as upgrading the central plant, which includes heating and cooling apparatus
"We have dedicated capital, time, energy, as well as our hearts and souls into elevating Mission Hospital Laguna Beach into a place that provides the highest quality care that residents should expect in their community hospital," Cowley said.
The blessing ceremonies also included a reading of a "Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians" by Mission Hospital's Sister Martha Ann Fitzpatrick and a hymn sung by hospital registered nurse Mary Merlin and her children, Phillip and Michelle.
In summation, the Monsignor recounted the story of the Good Samaritan, who stopped to give succor to a victim left to die by his attackers.
The blessing concluded with three prayers, the last one urging everyone to follow in the footsteps of the Good Samaritan and a final blessing of the crosses.