Henry Mayo to ask city for $2M donation for surgical suites

Part of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital's main campus is shown in this 2021 file photo. Dan Watson/The Signal

Santa Clarita City Council members are expected to discuss a capital campaign request of $2 million from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital at their meeting Tuesday.  

The ask is part of a campaign by the city’s only hospital to raise $27 million for a new surgical center as part of the first-floor build-out of its new patient tower, according to a letter from Marlee Lauffer, president of the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation and vice president of communications for the hospital. 

“As part of our new patient tower ‘Building for your Health’ capital campaign, we are now focused on completing the build-out of the tower first floor, with an all-new surgical center, replacing our current surgical area in the older part of the main hospital,” Lauffer wrote in an Oct. 3 letter to City Manager Ken Striplin. 

The center would contain four new state-of-the art surgical suites, a greatly expanded pre- and post-acute recovery unit, or PACU, a nurses’ station, staff lounges and a public waiting room, according to the letter. 

“The surgical center is part of our overall $170 million new patient tower project, with the main part of the tower completed in late 2019,” Lauffer said of the project, which included the addition of 90 patient rooms, an expanded center for women and newborns and its own dedicated surgical suite.  

The hospital is looking to replace surgical suites that are more than 40 years old, according to the letter, which notes that the hospital’s board and executive staff have contributed $4.7 million, its employees have kicked in about $1.2 million and its physicians another $1 million. 

The hospital is planning to conclude the campaign after $25 million is raised. Lauffer said in a phone interview that through the aforementioned donations, as well as support from “a variety of community donors, businesses and individuals, the hospital has already raised more than half that goal, about $13 million.” 

Henry Mayo, a 356-bed not-for-profit facility, was first constructed in 1975, according to the City Council’s agenda. Its current surgical suites were built about five years later. 

In 2008, the council approved a master plan that noted a future expansion, with a specific plan for the campus developed in 2016, according to the City Council agenda, which also says the city gave $200,000 in 1999 to support the hospital’s trauma center. 

The specific plan included approvals for a zoning change, 31,000-square-foot expansion to the existing campus and various other amendments. The patient tower that opened in 2019 was the first of these planned renovations to the hospital’s campus. 

The city has been very supportive of community efforts, Lauffer said Monday in a phone interview, also mentioning its support of the hospital’s emergency room expansion in the 2000s, and other community capital campaigns like the ones behind the recent senior center, the Bridge to Home shelter and for the Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club. 

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