LOMA LINDA, CA- A joyful and emotional celebration marked the completion of Loma Linda University Health – San Bernardino Campus.
“This day is a dream come true,” said Loma Linda University Health president Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH. After years of planning and18 months of construction, the completion of the project brought Hart to tears as he spoke.
Over 500 members of the community came out to be a part of history for the City of San Bernardino as officials held the ribbon cutting ceremony for the campus Wednesday, June 22.
“We are opening the door to better health and the opportunity to fulfill important educational dreams for many in our region,” said Roger Hadley, MD, dean, LLU School of Medicine.
The one-of-a-kind health care and education facility funded in part by a generous gift of $10 million from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians will house the San Manuel Gateway College, an expanded multi-specialty medical clinic operated by Social Action Community Health System (SACHS) and a vegetarian restaurant, which will showcase the longevity enhancing benefits of a plant-based diet.
“I cannot think of a better partner than Loma Linda University Health – a relationship that goes back 110 years,” said Ken Ramirez, tribal secretary, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. “We are eager to continue to serve, educate and take care of the community we call our home and our family.”
The facility will soon be busy providing health care and education to members of the community: June 27 is move-in day for SACHS; behavioral health services, and family medicine residency; and current SACHS pediatric services begin Monday, July 18.
In early August, the pediatric teaching office begins services, and internal medicine and OB-GYN and specialty clinics begin services.
“I can’t help but get emotional,” said Nancy Young, CEO, SAC Health System. “This building has been our dream for so many years and it’s finally coming true. This project will be the beginning of the transformational healing for the city we all love and are honored to serve.”
San Manuel Gateway College programs, including medical assistant, front and back office skills and certified nurse assistant, are scheduled to begin in September.
Arwyn Wild, executive director of San Manuel Gateway College explained his eagerness to give high school kids the confidence and resources to succeed. “This is not about us,” he said, “it is about the future, providing a light at the end of the tunnel for our kids.”
Coming from the San Bernardino Unified School District, Wild knows firsthand the challenges many underserved kids in our area go through and what they need to succeed. In addition to the college and medical clinic, Farmacy Fresh Café will open in the fall offering a wide variety of ready-to-eat and cooked-to-order vegetarian dishes.