Imagining a life without AV Hospital

By Edward Mirzabegian

Since we opened in 1955, Antelope Valley Hospital has been providing quality health care to people throughout this community. Today, we serve 220,000 people each year, including 130,000 emergency room patients.

When you or your loved ones need care, Antelope Valley Hospital has always been there for you.

We care for anyone who needs it, regardless of their availability to pay. Nobody is ever turned away.

The hospital facilities, however, have become outdated, and to continue providing the care Antelope Valley needs, a new hospital must be constructed. The current hospital does not meet California’s earthquake safety standards and if it is not replaced by 2025, the Antelope Valley Health Care District will have no choice but to close the region’s only local not-for-profit hospital.

Losing Antelope Valley Hospital would have a catastrophic impact on the community. We would lose Antelope Valley’s only designated Level 2 trauma center, forcing critically injured patients to be transported more than 50 miles to Los Angeles during crucial moments that could mean life or death. Antelope Valley Hospital is also the only hospital in the region that provides inpatient mental health services and pediatric care, including an emergency department approved for pediatrics.

The hospital contributes greatly to the health of the community, providing 2,600 local jobs that would be lost if the hospital closes. Our nurses, physicians, emergency room staff and health care professionals deserve better.

Our goal is to preserve and enhance all that Antelope Valley Hospital provides by building a new facility with approximately 250 beds. The new hospital will have an increased capacity in the Emergency Room designed specifically to reduce patient wait times and increase patient privacy. A new Antelope Valley Hospital will attract and retain highly trained, talented doctors and nurses and feature state-of-the-art technology and a lifesaving trauma center. Local senior services would be enhanced through better treatment for stroke patients and protected access to our Comprehensive Community Cancer Center & STEMI Receiving Center.

The Antelope Valley Healthcare District Board of Directors recently approved a resolution to ask voters for up to $350 million to help finance the new hospital. That initiative will appear on the March 2020 ballot. All costs exceeding this amount will be financed privately and all public spending will be governed by strict audit and accountability provisions.

Throughout the fall, Antelope Valley Hospital staff and leaders engaged the community, detailing the need for a new hospital, what a new hospital will include and how we plan to finance it. We held town hall meetings, participated in community events throughout the Antelope Valley and conducted online outreach to educate residents and seek their opinions on the hospital.

This information is available on the special transparency page of our website at https://new.avhospital.org/ and it will be updated with new information as it becomes available.

In the meantime, we will continue our community education through additional town halls and online outreach.

We are committed to continuing to be open and clear about our efforts to build a new Antelope Valley Hospital.

We are scheduling additional public meetings and continued community outreach. Antelope Valley Hospital has been your hospital for more than 60 years, and we want to be here to serve you for the next 60 years and beyond.

Edward Mirzabegian
Chief Executive Officer
Antelope Valley Hospital

This article originally appeared in the Antelope Valley Press