The four-story, $180 million new patient care wing, one of the first “green” hospital buildings in California, houses a 12-bed neonatal intensive care unit, a new Women’s Pavilion with Labor & Delivery Suites, gastroenterology lab, additional operating rooms, remodeled main entrance and cafeteria/dining room, and a chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe. The expansion comes as Providence Holy Cross celebrates its 50th year of providing health care services in the northern San Fernando Valley, operating one of the busiest private emergency departments and trauma centers in Los Angeles County. At an April 16 community open house attended by dignitaries --- including San Fernando Region Auxiliary Bishop Gerald Wilkerson, Sisters of Providence Anita Butler and Rose Byrne, County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and several Los Angeles City Council members and officials --- prayers and praise abounded for the completion of the seven-year project.Leading the gathering invocation, Sister Butler, sponsor, Providence Ministries, prayed that the new patient care wing would “be a safe space of rest and healing for those whose journey has been marked by difficulty and a sacred space where [God’s] love is revealed for all through our compassionate service.” Noting that the day’s blessing ceremony and dedication was coincidentally taking place right before Holy Week, Bishop Wilkerson pointed out that the purpose of Catholic health care is to continue the healing work of Jesus, who “understands our pain and suffering because he himself suffered and needed the compassion and care of others.“The mission of Jesus,” continued the bishop, “reminds us especially that he cared for the whole person: body mind and soul, so spiritual care here is a priority for us. ... All who are part of Providence Holy Cross promote the life and the dignity of each person --- especially the poor and the vulnerable, the needy and the powerless. We’re going to bless a building today, but it’s the people of Providence who will bless us, each and every day as we go forward.”“We’re delighted to welcome this addition of inpatient beds to help expand and strengthen our safety net of health care services in the San Fernando Valley,” said Supervisor Yaroslavsky. “Providence Holy Cross has been a great and valued partner with the county, and our constituents will be well served by this positive and exciting new development.”Plans for the new wing began nearly a decade ago as Providence Holy Cross and other area hospitals felt the effects of numerous area hospital closures, resulting in the loss of some 400 beds in the San Fernando Valley. “Providence Holy Cross is nearly always at capacity and this new patient care wing gives us the room we need to expand services to our patients and their families,” said Larry Bowe, the hospital’s chief executive. “At 377 beds, we’ve become one of the largest hospitals in the greater Valley area, but we remain committed to maintaining the same quality and compassionate care that has led to our success.”He told The Tidings after the ribbon-cutting ceremony, held on the lawn in front of the South Wing, that he is proud that the new building qualifies for a Silver rating by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) that fits in with the Providence core value of stewardship for the environment. But, he added, it’s the Holy Cross “family” of caring employees who provide the quality and compassionate health care for the greater valley community.“We have so many great people at Holy Cross that really live the mission, have the core values and will take time to sit down with people and talk with them and touch them and make them feel cared for,” said Bowe. “There are new buildings all the time, but having good people inside them is what will make this a great place.”“Looking at the huge difference with the new space and what we can really do is so exciting,” said Yajaira Angulo, RN, who was born at Holy Cross and has worked there as a nurse for nine years. She notes the new patient care wing has 10 labor, delivery and recovery rooms and also has an operating room where mother and baby can be kept together during the labor and recovery period.“We are going to provide an even higher level of care now,” said Angulo. “I think the community is going to love it. We’ve had a lot of patients so anxious, saying: ‘When is the new building coming?’ The nurses are extremely excited to see this transformation.”{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2011/0513/sfholycross{/gallery}