CAMP PENDLETON – A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the official opening of the newest Navy Medicine West facility, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, on Jan. 31. The 500,000 square-foot, four story building was delivered six months early and more than $100 million under budget.
NHCP Commanding Officer Capt. Mark A. Kobelja welcomed everyone to the 1 p.m. ceremony and thanked all the personnel responsible for the new facility.
“Everyone who made this project a reality was outstanding. The facility is going to be well used,” said Kobelja. “Since completing the move Dec. 14 we have delivered 170 babies, conducted 458 surgeries including 39 emergency cases, have seen 5,700 patients in the ER, processed over 100,000 lab tests, conducted 7,000 imaging studies including 900 CT and 250 MRI exams, transfused 30 units of blood, casted 350 limbs, dispensed 75,000 prescriptions including 50,000 new prescriptions plus an additional 15,000 inpatient medication fills and completed nearly 30,000 outpatient appointments. The ICU has had more patients in the last seven weeks than in the previous seven months. The average daily census of our wards and the ER are up over 25 percent. County EMS is now bringing patients to us from outside the fence – at the patient’s request. The patients and their families love this new hospital and her crew and the proof is in the numbers.”
The official ribbon-cutting party consisted of Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller, the Honorable Mike McCord, Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) the Honorable Jonathan Woodson, Commanding General I Marine Expeditionary Force Lt. Gen. John Toolan, Deputy Surgeon General of the Navy, Deputy Chief of the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Rear Adm. C. Forrest Faison III, Richard Heim, president and CEO western region, Clark Construction Group, CA, Commander, Navy Medicine West, Naval Medical Center San Diego Rear Adm. Bruce L. Gillingham and Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic Rear Adm. Douglas G. Morton. McCord emphasized that this project was more than only the second largest project from the American Improvement Act as it means so much to care for the men and women who put their lives in harms way every day.
Toolan thanked all those who made this hospital possible and in such a short period of time.
“This facility now serves as a symbolic landmark to the entire Southern California community. Reflecting the care and commitment our nation has for those who serve and their families,” said Toolan. “You all didn’t just build a building — you created a standard of excellence.”
Situated on a 70-acre site near the main gate of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, the new Naval Hospital will employ a staff of around 2,400 physicians, nurses, and support personnel who will serve around 157,000 military healthcare beneficiaries.