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Mission Hospital reveals long-term plan

Officials present a strategy designed to serve Laguna, plus improve seismic standards and medical services.

March 17, 2011|By Barbara Diamond, coastlinepilot@latimes.com

Mission Hospital officials presented a strategic plan this week they said will meet state requirements for seismic standards up to 2030 and include services tailored to the needs of the community.

The plan includes retrofitting, the introduction of new and improved services, cosmetic and efficiency renovations within a sustainable budget and without a reduction in the bed count, officials said. It is related to and dependent on revisions to the Mission Viejo strategy, begun before the Laguna Beach campus was acquired about 18 months ago, which changed the game plan.

"Mission Hospital is an organization that is good at planning and it is an organization that is good at executing," said Michael Beck, hospital vice president of operations. "It is not necessarily good at doing it fast."

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The commitment to retrofit the Patient Care Building and the South Radiology Building to meet the state's 2030 standards is the top priority. They are the only two of the nine buildings on the campus required to meet state seismic standards.

"Retrofitting must be done by 2015, but if we show we have allocated resources and are working on it, we expect the state will give us more time," Beck said.

After 2030, the hospital will have to be razed to meet state standards, which was considered after the acquisition, along with downsizing, Beck said.

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Plan includes new services

A focus group came up with five areas to which the hospital should allocate time, effort and money.

•An orthopedic unit

•Spinal injuries

•Behavioral health

•General surgery

•Cancer

Because the obstetrics and long-term care units were closed by Adventist and never filled after the acquisition by Mission, space is available for new or expanded services deemed important in Laguna.

An out-patient cancer unit will focus on breast and skin cancers.

"We will be bringing in new technology," Beck said.

The gastro-intestinal lab will be equipped with an endocoptic ultrasound, a diagnostic tool for oncologists, as well as other specialists, that is currently not available anywhere in South Orange County, Beck said.

"Laguna will be the only place in Orange County with the technology for several years," Beck said.

Esophageal and other cancers will be treated in Mission Viejo.

Also, the hospital has been approached by a group of orthopedic surgeons who are interested in bringing services to Laguna.

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