Investing heavily in the recently acquired Los Gatos hospital, El Camino Hospital board members have approved a $618 million budget for the 2010 fiscal year starting July 1, up 25 percent -- or almost $160 million -- over last year.
The majority of funding will go toward two major projects: activating the Los Gatos property, including hiring about 450 full-time employees; and moving into the new hospital facility this fall on Grant Road.
The board also budgeted $75 million to pay for seismic upgrades and new equipment at the Los Gatos site, which El Camino officially took over on April 11, as well as health information technology and medical equipment at the Mountain View site. Administrators spoke about both endeavors during the hospital board's regular meeting last month.
"We knew we would have these expenses," chief financial officer Marla Marlow told the Voice. "It was part of our long-term plan."
The board also approved $5.2 million for community health programs, including local school programs, its own free RotaCare clinic, programs for uninsured children, and mental health and dental services.
"We are fortunate to be able to make investments in the health of our community," chief executive officer Ken Graham said in a press release. "El Camino Hospital is in a solid financial position, thanks to our conservative fiscal management over the years."
Administrators and board members renamed the hospital El Camino Hospital Los Gatos, and reopened its doors for walk-in patients on July 12. It will start accepting ambulance traffic on July 19.
With the new Los Gatos hospital and a new facility in Mountain View, hospital administrators have set strategic goals for the coming year, including improving the quality of patient care. Merging programs at Los Gatos and the Mountain View, so the hospitals work as one entity, is also a top goal for the coming year.