News Releases / 2013
Work Begins on the Modernization of the Ojai Valley Community Hospital
Ojai, California, 01/02/2013
If you have been to the Ojai hospital recently you may have seen a flurry of activity going on. That's because the initial phase of modernizing the 52-year old hospital has begun.
A new roof, and new air conditioning and heating units, have been installed as a part of a plan to bring the hospital into compliance with state-mandated earthquake safety standards. Besides meeting these safety standards, the new heating and air units are a long-anticipated improvement that staff, patients and visitors alike will certainly appreciate as Ojai Valley temperatures routinely dip in the winter and heat up again come summertime.
Inside, the hospital's 4-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) was remodeled. New flooring, improved work stations, and ceiling braces were installed in the 1,630-square-foot ICU.
Strengthening the ICU's ceiling braces was part of work being done throughout the hospital to ensure it meets state-mandated earthquake safety codes. Hospitals must address various safety regulations which are divided into two categories—structural and non-structural performance.
Fulfilling the non-structural performance category involves the bracing of equipment—such as heating and air units, plumbing, bulk medical gases and fire alarm systems—to withstand an earthquake. Community Memorial Health System, the parent organization of the hospital, stated that these enhancements will help the hospital meet seismic laws through 2030.
To ensure that the work in the ICU went as smoothly as possible for patients, Haady Lashkari – hospital administrator, said OVCH officials and its medical staff worked hand-in-hand with representatives from the state's Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development as well as the Department of Public Health to develop a temporary plan to accommodate patients in ICU and those recovering from surgery. The hospital executive said the plan worked flawlessly.
In the coming years, Ojai residents will see many changes at the 37-bed hospital and its adjacent 66-bed Continuing Care Center, as Community Memorial Health System moves forward with its facility master plan to modernize these two facilities.
The next phase of the master plan is a major remodel of the hospital's façade—the first such undertaking since OVCH was built in 1960. The initial design, which is being brought before the city, features an exterior in the Spanish Colonial Revival style - common to many of Ojai's landmark buildings. The design work is being done by Rasmussen and Associates.
The façade, to be accented with artisan wrought iron and hand-glazed tiles, will include a domed entry tower, a courtyard with a central fountain and a clay tile roof. Lashkari stated that feedback from the community on the design has been overwhelmingly positive, and the hospital is preparing to move forward on the various steps for city approval.
One of the most important projects to be undertaken is the improvements to the 66-bed skilled nursing facility. Lashkari said the health system is exploring the best solution for our Continuing Care Center, a facility that provides inpatient programs and therapy treatments for both short- and long-term placement. Lashkari noted that providing a first-class facility is a goal CMHS would like to meet in the not-too-distant future.
It's a plan, Lashkari said, that will certainly take the Ojai Valley Community Hospital into the 21st century, and continues the health system's commitment to provide the Ojai residents access to a hospital right here in the Ojai Valley.
Ojai Valley Community Hospital is a member of Community Memorial Health System, a not-for-profit health system, which is comprised of Community Memorial Hospital, Ojai Valley Community Hospital, and 12 family-practice health centers entitled Centers for Family Health. The health system is located in Ventura County, California.