After years in the making, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital invited the public to celebrate the grand opening of its new patient tower with an open house on Saturday.
Guests were welcomed with smiles from staff and board members as they toured the six-story tower, which connects the main hospital to the pavilion.
“It’s been a long time coming. We’ve been working on it for a number of years, and it’ll allow us to do a lot of great things,” said Marlee Lauffer, president of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation. “The most important thing is that patient care will really be elevated. People really like our hospital because we have a really good care team … so this will continue that, but it will be a more comfortable environment.”
The new tower, which will be open for patients later this year, includes 90 private patient rooms, two operating rooms, a new Center for Women and Newborns, a rooftop helipad with direct access to the emergency department and a new cafe with an outdoor dining area.
“It’s such a beautiful unit,” said Lori Matzner, director of the Center for Women and Newborns. “With the community feeling and family-centered approach, I think you couldn’t ask for a better department. We’re thrilled.”
This is a big upgrade for the center which not only has all private rooms with private bathrooms, but also two new cesarean-section suites and easy access to the neonatal intensive care unit, all of which are located on the same floor, so patients never have to leave, Matzner added.
“As a community, we don’t want people leaving and going over the hill. We want to provide the care here and we know the community wants it,” she said.
The center has already noticed an increase in volume just over the last year, which Regina Alandy, clinical coordinator for the NICU, said is wonderful to see.
“When I started here about seven years ago, I started with two babies in the NICU, not a lot, then boom — it’s just growing and growing and growing,” Alandy said. “It’s really good for the community and really beautiful.”
Among those touring the new tower was the Bennett family, who are expecting their second child. As Mandy Bennett, her husband, James, and 1-year-old daughter, Macy, who was also born at Henry Mayo, walked through the center, they were able to ask questions and learn about the new amenities.
“We’ll be back in the new year,” Mandy Bennett said. “So, we’re excited for the new tower.”
Ingrid and Roger Tate have been local residents since before the hospital was opened in 1975.
“Seeing it grow over the years is wonderful,” Ingrid said. “Our community needs it and it makes me feel safe knowing this (hospital) is right down the street.”