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Highland Care Pavilion Opens Today

OAKLAND, Calif., June 12, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today Alameda Health System (AHS), a nationally recognized public health care provider, opens the doors of its new Highland Care Pavilion on the campus of Highland Hospital to patients seeking same-day, primary and specialized health care. The new building marks the first major milestone in a three-phase transformation of the Highland Hospital Campus that will include a 169-bed Acute Care Tower and campus redesign. The full project is scheduled for completion in 2017.

The new technologically advanced Highland Care Pavilion improves patient access to urgent care services and helps meet the community's growing demand for primary medical care. It also eases the strain on Highland Hospital's Emergency Department from the high number of visitors seeking non-emergency care.

The new facility will be the new home of 10 of Highland's specialty care clinics: allergy, cardiology, chest, congestive heart failure, medical imaging, gastroenterology/liver, hematology/oncology, infusion, hepatitis C and rheumatology. In addition, the building will house laboratory services, including a blood drawing clinic.

"We're pleased to open our doors to the community and begin offering patients, families and visitors an improved experience and increased accessibility to the high quality medical services they expect and deserve," said Wright L. Lassiter III, Alameda Health System chief executive officer.

"With the completion of the first phase of campus improvements, we establish a high standard for community engagement and patient experience," noted Bill Manns, AHS chief operating officer. "This new facility allows patients, families and visitors from all walks of life to receive a world-class experience from sought-after physicians and professionals in a local, caring and comfortable environment."

A key attribute of the new Highland Care Pavilion is the Same Day Clinic, designed to provide prompt care for patients with serious but non-life-threatening conditions who previously would have gone to the Highland Hospital Emergency Department (ED). Last year, the Highland ED reported 90,000 visits; of which approximately half were identified as having lower acuity rankings that will be more quickly and economically addressed in the Same Day Clinic setting.

Increased capacity afforded by the new building will reduce wait times for patients in all triage categories, and help meet the community's growing demand for primary, same-day and specialty care needs. The Same Day Clinic occupies 4,340 square feet, including 11 separate examination rooms, and has its own waiting room, registration, triage and financial counseling areas. Related same-day services, such as a radiology suite and a lab drawing station, will also be located in the building.

Beginning today, the Same Day Clinic will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Patients can make appointments by calling the Ambulatory Call Center at 510-437-8500 beginning at 6:00 a.m. until the day's capacity is reached. Eventually, the Same Day Clinic will be available for pediatric appointments and women's services as well as ED and hospital follow up.

The Highland Care Pavilion also offers an expanded, 14-bed outpatient Infusion Center, where patients receive intravenous therapies such as chemotherapy, blood transfusions and hydration. At the new Infusion Center, patients will receive treatment in a soothing setting where they can pass the time in comfortable recliners reading, working, listening to music, or watching television.

The Care Pavilion facility is virtually self-contained, with areas for admitting, financial counseling and registration, as well as a new cafeteria. It adds 175 new on-site parking spaces for patients and visitors and a new conference center to support a broad range of medical education and advanced clinical training that occurs year-round on the Highland campus.

Opening of the new Highland Care Pavilion is the first phase in a $668 million modernization of the Highland campus financed and managed by Alameda County. Dedicated in a public ceremony last month, the three-story, 80,000-square-foot building today becomes the new main entrance to Highland Hospital, the flagship facility of AHS.

About Alameda Health System (AHS)

Alameda Health System (AHS), a major public health care provider headquartered in Oakland, California, is recognized as a world-class patient and family centered system of care. The heart of its mission - caring, healing, teaching and serving all - sums up the AHS core objectives to promote wellness and eliminate disparities within the diverse communities it serves in Alameda County. As a regional and national leader in health care safety and excellence, AHS aims to optimize the health of all Alameda County residents by multiplying access points to its best-in-class care.

AHS creates positive patient experiences. Service and community engagement are a priority and the system offers programs that deliver value to individuals across all patient populations regardless of their social or economic status. Quality, financial strength and development of the workforce are also system hallmarks that ensure continual improvement to every aspect of our reach in the community.

A major economic force in Alameda County, AHS employs nearly 3,000 people including more than 500 physicians at six facilities. These include Highland Hospital, a major regional trauma center and teaching hospital, John George Psychiatric Hospital, an acute and emergency care facility in San Leandro, California; Fairmont Hospital, an acute rehabilitation hospital and skilled nursing facility, also in San Leandro; and four ambulatory wellness centers in Oakland as well as in Newark and Hayward, California.

CONTACT: Jerri Applegate Randrup Alameda Health System (510) 437-4732 jrandrup@acmedctr.org Curt Olsen AMF Media Group (925) 790-2620 curt@amfmediagroup.comSource:Alameda Health System