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New Kaiser Permanente Oakland Hospital Dazzles with Technology, Specialty Care

  • The street view of the new medical center. “Our new hospital is built upon the legacy of the old hospital,” said Claude Watts, Jr., the Oakland Medical Center’s chief operating officer and interim senior vice president and area manager for the East Bay region.
  • Dr. John Loftus, physician in chief at the medical center, and Dr. Jorge Gutierrez, Pediatrics assistant physician in chief, demo the lobby's interactive multimedia board that invites passersby to touch bubbles that then play Kaiser Permanente videos.
  • In the cafeteria: 4,000 employees of the medical center submitted photos that were used in this mosaic depicting downtown Oakland.
  • This child’s area isn’t in Pediatrics. It’s in the Emergency Department. The entire hospital is child-friendly.
  • In the new hospital, there are six Emergency Department rooms just for children—designed with help from children. This is the Treasure Island room.
  • The first intraoperative 3T magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) system in California allows pediatric brain surgeons to receive data while the patient is still on the operating table, thus eliminating a second surgery and reducing chances of trauma.
  • Private hospital rooms have couches that fold out so family can stay over, as well as room service and Wi-Fi. This one is built specially for bariatric patients and includes a pulley for lifting and larger furniture.
  • Get off on the hospital’s 12th floor and you know you are in Pediatrics. Soft blue walls, a stunning view of Oakland, and this planetary mobile greet you.
  • The entire Oakland Medical Center boasts lively local art, including this mixed media piece located in Pediatrics.
  • The children’s lounge with a performance space, TV, and little portholes for looking out.
  • Art in Pediatrics is youth-friendly, but not always childlike since teens come for care, too. For example, this ocean-themed mural is tactile at the bottom for curious toddlers, and then at adult eye level is more mature.
  • Teens have different needs. This lounge is for kids age 12 and up. Computer docking stations replace toys.
  • The new hospital has something else the old one didn’t—this children’s rehab room for post-surgery.
  • Colorful hospital halls brighten the space but also serve as patient way-finding. What you can’t see: High-performance windows reduce unwanted heat, passive cooling uses fresh outdoor air, and a cleaner air-conditioning system cools with reduced chemicals.

Photos by Bill Horton

A seasoned staff and a larger, updated venue will elevate care to a new level at the Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center.

Seventy-two years after opening its first hospital in Oakland, Kaiser Permanente is reinvesting in the community with the opening of the new, state-of-the-art hospital on July 1.

The Oakland Specialty Medical Office Building opened on Jan. 6.

Together, the two are housed under one roof in the brand-new Oakland Medical Center located at Broadway and MacArthur Boulevard.

“The new medical center continues the rich history we have had with the City of Oakland, and renews our commitment to enhance and improve the health and well-being of our members and of the community at large,” said Gregory A. Adams, group president and Northern California regional president. “This new building culminates a years-long capital program to keep our hospitals and medical offices state of the art.”

Patients at the Center of General and Specialty Care

An expansion of the hospital’s offering includes its new role as regional pediatric care hub serving children throughout Northern California, a full-service “children’s hospital within a general hospital.”

Special services include a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and a new intraoperative 3T magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) system that is the first in the state of California.

The iMRI allows pediatric brain surgeons to receive data while the patient is still on the operating table, resulting in immediate surgical choices that reduce subsequent surgeries for the patient.

But the focus on quality care extends to all patients—and is the real heartbeat and purpose of the gleaming new facility.

“Kaiser Permanente is the quality and service leader in Northern California today, and this state-of-the-art hospital will allow us to expand the excellence of our medical care,” said Robert Pearl, MD, executive director and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group. “Offering cutting-edge adult and pediatric services, this facility will set the standard for technologically advanced hospital care in the East Bay.”

Five Years in the Making; Built to Last for Generations

The five-year creation of the medical center resulted in more than 700 construction-related jobs for the area, infused approximately $127 million into the local economy, and added nearly $190 million in local wages.

“Our new medical center demonstrates Kaiser Permanente’s strong commitment to Oakland, its citizens, and all of the Bay Area,” said Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and chief executive officer, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Hospitals. “We are proud of the integral role we play in this community and are excited about opening a 21st-century medical center that will help transform health care in Oakland and beyond for years to come.”

The Oakland Hospital is one of a string of new Kaiser Permanente Northern California facilities opening in 2014: The San Leandro Medical Offices opened on April 7, the San Leandro Hospital followed on June 3, and the new Redwood City Hospital opens in December.

Kaiser Permanente’s East Bay Area includes medical offices in Pinole and Alameda, as well as the Richmond Medical Center.

Patients move from the old Oakland Hospital at 280 West MacArthur Boulevard across the street to the new medical center on July 1. The old hospital is slated for demolition this year.

A Large Facility to Serve Current, Future Members

The 12-story hospital includes 349 private rooms, an operating room/interventional radiology suite, cardiac catheterization services, eight labor and delivery rooms, and 14 inpatient operating rooms. Its 24-hour Emergency Department has 52 private treatment bays.

The 4-story medical office building includes Pharmacy, Lab, Health Education, Radiology/Imaging Services, and 102 provider rooms, as well as six outpatient operating rooms, seven procedure rooms, and 46 recovery bays. Seventeen specialties are represented, ranging from maxillofacial to a sleep clinic.

In total, the medical center is 950,000 square feet.

In addition, five other Kaiser Permanente medical office buildings nearby complete Oakland’s medical center campus.

Of the new medical center, Dr. Pearl said, “It is more remarkable and beautiful than imagined. I can’t wait to see it in action.”

Flip through the photo album above to learn more about the hospital.