Patient Care Tower

Earthquake Safety Enhancements

Although no one was killed in a hospital by the January 17, 1994, Northridge earthquake, the tremor caused 23 hospitals to suspend some or all of their services and resulted in more than $3 billion in hospital-related damage. In addition, six hospitals in Southern California were completely evacuated within 24 hours of the temblor.

Simi Valley Hospital (SVH) remained fully operational following the quake, but did sustain some damage. As a result, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) agreed to provide $16 million for the hospital to make repairs or upgrade the current facility.

In the months following the Northridge earthquake, California legislators passed Senate Bill 1953 (SB-1953), an unfunded mandate requiring all hospitals to retrofit, rebuild or close their general acute care inpatient hospital buildings by specific dates if they do not meet strict new seismic safety standards.

By December 31, 2007, the law states, every general acute care inpatient hospital building in California must be able to remain standing following a major earthquake. By 2030, every building must not only remain standing, but must be operational.

SVH elected to use its FEMA dollars to further plan, develop and build its $75 million Patient Care Tower. The 146,000-square-foot replacement bed facility is part of a multiphase rebirth of the hospital’s main campus. The work on the new building continues at a vigorous pace toward an anticipated 2008 opening, which will be celebrated by a community-wide open house event.

The tower will meet all seismic standards required by SB-1953.