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Hospital Will Construct New Wing

February 20, 1992|JILL GOTTESMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

WHITTIER — To relieve its increasingly crowded emergency room, Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier will add a $19.8-million wing.

The expansion will increase by nearly 20% the number of emergency patients who can be treated each year, hospital spokeswoman Caroline L. Walsh said.

The four-story development, expected to be completed in late 1994, will add 130,000 square feet to the hospital.

"We have literally outgrown our space," said Dr. Stanley Singer, medical director for emergency services at Presbyterian Intercommunity. "It will be a luxury to examine and treat patients in a much calmer, roomier environment."

The added space and new equipment also will mean fewer patients being diverted to other hospitals, said Whittier Councilman Robert Woehrmann, who owns an ambulance company that serves several hospitals, including Presbyterian Intercommunity.

The emergency room treats 3,200 patients a month, but Woehrmann estimated that patients are turned away several times a week because there is no room for them.

After the expansion, the number of patients treated each month could increase to about 4,100, Walsh said.

The new wing also will include a spine and scoliosis treatment center and women's health services.

Presbyterian Intercommunity is able to expand its emergency room when other hospitals are scaling back services because funding for the new wing includes $11.5 million from tax-exempt municipal bonds that were secured in 1985 for nonprofit health organizations, Whittier city officials said.

Plans for the hospital expansion were drawn up in 1986, they said.

The remainder of the funding will be raised by the hospital, Walsh said.

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