On March 2, it was announced that the San Clemente campus will be closing on May 31.
Since August 2014, Saddleback Memorial has held hundreds of meetings with employees, physicians, local residents, businesses, community organizations and elected officials to share its vision for converting the San Clemente campus into a state-of-the-art ambulatory health care center. The new vision included advanced urgent care, several outpatient programs and space for primary care physicians and specialists to revitalize the property into what many call the “Health Care Campus of the Future.” The goal was to draw more physicians, patients and community members to the campus and become a health care destination for San Clemente and the surrounding communities.
As part of that vision, Saddleback Memorial worked with California State Senator Patricia Bates and Assemblyman Bill Brough on legislation (SB787 and AB911) that would have allowed a Satellite Emergency Department on the San Clemente campus.
Despite substantial efforts by a coalition of supporters, neither bill received enough votes in January to continue toward passage. The following week, the San Clemente City Council voted to rezone the San Clemente campus property to require hospital services.
Like many small hospitals across the country, the San Clemente inpatient facility has continued to experience declining volumes. The number of inpatients dropped to the low teens with many days in the single digits, and the number of inpatient surgeries to less than one a day.
Without legislation to allow a Satellite Emergency Department, and given this new restrictive rezoning that requires hospital services, the vision to convert the campus into a modern ambulatory care center cannot now be achieved. As a result the difficult decision has been made to close the campus on May 31, 2016. This was not the outcome that was sought or expected.
Over the next months, there will be many discussions with local agencies to thoughtfully plan for the best transition of services.
We are committed to continue serving the community with 45 physicians and 17 locations throughout San Clemente and the surrounding communities. In San Clemente, our six locations include physician health centers, imaging center and breast center. Outpatient centers in San Clemente are available for physician services, screening mammography, outpatient rehabilitation and imaging services including CT, MRI, Ultrasound and X-Ray. In the nearby communities we have additional outpatient centers for surgery, urgent care, imaging, dialysis and physician offices. We are exploring the addition of new urgent care services in San Clemente at existing properties. Urgent care services are also provided in San Juan Capistrano. Future locations include a new comprehensive outpatient health center in Rancho Mission Viejo that will include primary care and specialty physicians and other diagnostic and treatment services.
Saddleback Memorial’s Laguna Hills campus will continue to provide comprehensive acute care hospital services and serve as a cardiac receiving and stroke receiving center for the region as it has for more than 40 years.
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