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[Headline] Construction Commences on SVHs New GI and Cardiac Catheterization Labs Simi Valley Hospital has moved forward

in its pledge to bring new services and improved facilities to the community with the launch of construction on a new GI lab and the citys first-ever cardiac catheterization lab. An indoor groundbreaking ceremony on April 18 marked the official beginning of the 11,000-square-foot projects construction phase. The new facilities have been part of the hospitals master plan from the time the design for the Patient Care Tower was conceived. A large portion of the garden level of the tower was shelled out during initial construction of the building for the later completion of the GI and catheterization areas. Bill Werner, general vice president for support services at SVH, said that construction on the project is expected to take approximately 10 months. Near the end of that time, he said, the hospital will be able to begin the licensing process, which typically runs four to six weeks. Given that timetable, Werner said, the facility should be open for business in approximately one year. Plans are to hold an open house for the community during the time the hospital is waiting for licensing, Werner said. In addition, there will be several opportunities for SVH physicians, employees and volunteers to tour the area in the weeks and months ahead during various phases of the construction process, he said. [Subhead] Space to Breathe for GI Lab Although SVH already has a GI Lab, Werner said the new facility will be a significant improvement over the existing area. The current lab was built in 1985, and while it is an extremely well run and safe facility, the procedure rooms are just really small, he said. The rooms in the new GI lab will have state-ofthe-art technology and will be much more spacious in order to accommodate that modern technology. It will be just a much more pleasant experiencenot just for patients but also for physicians and staff members. The area will include two GI procedure rooms, a brochoscopy room, prep and recovery rooms, and a business area with waiting space and offices. [Subhead] Cath & OR in One The new cardiac catheterization lab, Werner explained, is actually known as a hybrid cath lab. If a patient is in there for a cardiac catheterization and it is determined that they actually need heart surgery, the room can be quickly converted to a full-fledged operating suite, he said.

For the moment, there will be one cath lab constructed, but there is space for a second lab as demand for the service increases in the future. Werner said that the addition of the cath lab to Simi Valley Hospital offers an enhanced level of convenience and service to physicians and their patients. Right now, patients who come to the Emergency Department with chest pains and require catheterization have to be transferred to another facility, he said. After our in-house cath lab opens, that extra step will be eliminated, which will be a great benefit to patients and make care more convenient for physicians.