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Providence St. Mary commits to working with the community on hospital site options

APPLE VALLEY (June 9, 2021) — Long committed to the health care needs of Apple Valley, Providence St. Mary Medical Center will work with the community to identify potential uses of the hospital’s current site when Providence St. Mary relocates in 2026 to nearby Victorville.

Noting the hospital’s history is tied to the town of Apple Valley’s great legacy, Chief Executive Randall Castillo agreed Monday to create an ad hoc committee of hospital and community leaders. The group will meet quarterly to assess health and community needs and discuss the possibility of developing health-related services on the property — including an expansive list of future opportunities as health care continues its rapid evolution to meet the needs of consumers.

Apple Valley Town Councilman Scott Nassif, also a member of the hospital’s Foundation Board of Directors, said Monday he initially was reluctant to celebrate last week’s news of the hospital’s proposed partnership with Kaiser Permanente to build a new and larger hospital in Victorville. But following a meeting with hospital officials and upon further reflection, Nassif was convinced that suitable and appropriate replacement opportunities could be identified over the next five years through close and coordinated collaboration between the hospital and the town. 

“We truly appreciate St. Mary’s willingness to collaborate with community stakeholders and find the best possible solutions to concerns among our residents,” Nassif said. “We have an opportunity to consider the needs in Apple Valley and look for creative solutions.”

Castillo said Providence is called by its mission and values to serve those most in need, especially the poor and vulnerable, and understands concerns voiced by Apple Valley residents. Providence and Kaiser Permanente announced June 3 plans to build a new hospital on 98 acres initially purchased in 2007 for a new St. Mary Medical Center campus, pending regulatory approval.

With the Victorville property ideally situated in the heart of the Victor Valley — approximately 10 miles southwest of the current hospital — the new location will expand Providence St. Mary’s reach and allow the hospital to better serve the greater High Desert region. 

Providence will continue to maintain primary operational responsibility of the new St. Mary Medical Center with input from Kaiser Permanente.

Although the move will add distance between the hospital and Apple and Lucerne valley residents, Providence St. Mary remains passionate about caring for these communities. Providence St. Mary is hopeful that future transit projects — such as the Yucca Loma-Green Tree Boulevard extension project — will help ease travel for residents on the east side of the valley.

In addition to serving Providence St. Mary’s current patient base, partnering with Kaiser Permanente in a more central location will provide local acute care for more than 100,000 Kaiser Permanente members in the Victor Valley.

While Providence St. Mary deeply values its connection to Apple Valley, this partnership will allow the organization to build a hospital of the future. The health care landscape is quickly changing and this state-of-the-art facility will be nimble enough to meet those needs. 

It also will be built to meet California’s 2030 seismic safety mandates and to support the ever-advancing technology in health care, including robotic technology that improves patient outcomes and electronic records that ensure comprehensive, coordinated care by linking a patient’s entire care team. 

With all private rooms, 20 percent more bed capacity and its central location, the facility will elevate the care available to the High Desert.

Still, Providence St. Mary recognizes the importance of collaborating with community stakeholders on future uses of the land.

“We can’t make promises, but I can tell you we’re committed to this community, which has supported our hospital for more than 60 years,” Castillo said. “We will listen and discuss ideas with an open mind and in an open forum.”

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