Breaking Ground on New Path to Health

Wellness Center coming to VacaValley Hospital Campus

A running track will circle exercise equipment and pool from a second-story vantage point.

This time next year, NorthBay Healthcare will open the doors to a unique, state-of-the-art wellness facility in Vacaville. The 110,000-square-foot building on the NorthBay VacaValley Hospital campus will feature a medical fitness center and become the new home of the NorthBay Cancer Center, currently located in Fairfield. The three-story structure will also include an out-patient diagnostic imaging center, diabetes and endocrinology, orthopedics, rehabilitation services and cardiac rehabilitation.

One of four pools that will be part of the Wellness Center.

Design and functionality put the patient first, according to Elnora Cameron, vice president of Strategic Development, a NorthBay division that oversees facilities construction. “How we construct these buildings is all about changing the way we deliver care to our patients,” Cameron said. “It’s about giving patients an experience we’ve all been asking for in healthcare: less waiting, promptly returned phone calls, expedited pharmacy refills and lots of comforting and healing sunlight in the public spaces and in the clinical treatment areas.”

The west end of the building will be dedicated to the county’s first medical fitness center. In 56,000 square feet it features a natatorium (aquatic center) with a lap pool, general purpose pool, warm water therapy pool, and a whirlpool.

Creating a facility dedicated to medical fitness is a new idea in health care. There are only six such facilities in the state.

It’s about giving patients an experience we’ve all been asking for in healthcare: less waiting, promptly returned phone calls, expedited pharmacy refills and lots of comforting and healing sunlight in the public spaces and in the clinical treatment areas.

—Elnora Cameron, vice president of Strategic Development

It will have many of the features of a health club—exercise equipment, indoor running track, pools and spas—and also will have specialized therapy equipment for patients. The staff will be highly trained and work collaboratively with physicians and specialists.

The fitness center also includes two group exercise rooms, a Queenax fitness system, dedicated Pilates and cycling rooms, a large cardio area, and strength training and personal training areas.

While physicians can prescribe therapy and exercise at the medical fitness center, membership plans will also be available to the general community.

The new imaging department in this building will house the first permanent PET imaging machine in Solano County.

Cameron noted, “Cancer patients will no longer wait days for a mobile machine to roll in from Sacramento. With a new MRI added adjacent to VacaValley Hospital later this year, this campus will have a full-fledged imaging center. Every type of image you or your doctor need will be here.”

The building is a partnership between NexCore Group and NorthBay Healthcare. Swinerton Builders of Sacramento is the general contractor.

The construction site formerly held the NorthBay Adult Day Center, which moved to a modern facility on VacaValley Parkway earlier this year.

Hard Hat Report Tracks Construction

With the frenzy of construction activity occurring at both NorthBay Medical Center and NorthBay VacaValley Hospital campuses, a new section has been created on to help visitors navigate quickly and safely.

The Hard Hat Report offers construction and traffic updates, as well as background about the projects, details on the architects, builders and renderings of the final designs.

An introductory video features NorthBay Healthcare President and CEO Gary Passama, as well as Facilities Development project managers Heidi Goldstone and Lisa Thomas. will feature links to a live web cam at both sites, so progress can be easily monitored.

Modernization ahead for NorthBay Medical Center

With the Vacaville expansion project under way, next on the construction agenda is the first phase of a $150 million modernization of NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield.

Site work and new utilities started in June and will be followed by creation of a new lobby and visitor welcome pavilion. Concurrently, the existing hospital lobby will become an expanded Emergency Department.

The first phase is being partially funded with the successful sale of $35 million in tax-exempt bonds.

Once the new pavilion opens and emergency services gain 31 new beds, the modernization project moves forward with construction of a new three-story wing that will replace existing surgical suites, hospital cafeteria, nutrition services, diagnostic imaging and supply rooms.

Also included are 22 new “patient rooms of the future” featuring the latest technology in health care, and 16 more post-acute care beds.

The entire Fairfield modernization project could take up to five years to complete.

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