LOMA LINDA, CA- Groundbreaking ceremonies were held today for Loma Linda University Health – San Bernardino, the new health care and educational initiative in downtown San Bernardino. The ceremonies were held at 250 South G Street, where the center will be built across the street from San Manuel Stadium.
Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH, president of Loma Linda University Health, said that the project will help support the San Bernardino economy and promote health and wholeness in the community for years to come.
“Studies of the infrastructure of San Bernardino have found that there are two large unmet needs in this community,” Hart said. “The first is a lack of skilled workers. The second is a lack of quality health care. Our new project will shore up both of those sectors of the economy by providing career education and health care for area residents as well as creating employment opportunities.”
The project involves three distinct, yet related components. The first is an educational center to be known as San Manuel Gateway College. Funded in part by a generous gift of $10 million from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, it will provide a variety of 6- to 12-month certificate training programs to prepare graduates for a number of rewarding career options in the healthcare field.
The second is an expanded and relocated multi-specialty medical clinic to be operated by Social Action Community Health System (SACHS), currently located at 1455 E. Third Street in San Bernardino. The third is a vegetarian restaurant designed to showcase the longevity-enhancing benefits of a plant-based diet.
Bradley P. Gilbert, MD, CEO of Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), noted that the expanded SACHS clinic will become a critical component of the IEHP delivery system with the increased primary care and specialty services it will provide to IEHP members. Gilbert said, “Given the large growth in our membership, which will reach one million members soon, we need high quality, accessible services such as will be delivered at the expanded SACHS clinic.”
SACHS, which was started by Loma Linda University Health students in the 1960s, has grown to become the largest provider of health services in San Bernardino. The new location will not only offer considerably more space than the old one affords, but will also offer expanded healthcare options for downtown residents. With a full complement of primary behavioral health, clinical, dental, health education, laboratory, pharmacy, urgent care, and women’s health services, the clinic will feature world-class health care provided by Loma Linda University Health faculty, students, and residents. SACHS is a teaching health center, funded by the federal Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to educate medical residents.
“SACHS is the second-largest teaching health center in the nation,” noted Nancy Young, MHES, president and CEO of SACHS. “Research shows that physicians trained in a community health center are three times as likely to stay working in community health throughout their careers.”
Hart said Loma Linda University Health – San Bernardino is designed as a LEED-certified architectural showpiece intended to beautify the downtown area with trees and gardens that promote healing and a sense of community. The LEED acronym stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and indicates that the center will be environmentally responsible and will use resources wisely in accordance with the highest industry standards for green buildings.
The new center represents a unique partnership of local organizations eager to create a revolutionary educational opportunity in the region. The City of San Bernardino, the County of San Bernardino, the San Bernardino Community College District, the San Bernardino City Unified School District, several non-profit organizations, and SACHS are partnering with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and Loma Linda University Health in this comprehensive project.
San Bernardino Mayor R. Carey Davis, MBA, said the new center will symbolize the city’s economic development to local residents as well as the surrounding communities and visitors who will view the new architectural display from the 215 Freeway.
“This represents a great opportunity to revitalize our downtown area,” Davis remarked. “It will also begin to change the image of San Bernardino as a result of the building that is going on. It will show that economic activity is returning. We see the collaboration and partnership as one that is very important to the rebirth of our downtown.”
More information about the Loma Linda University Health – San Bernardino project can be found online via this link: www.lluhealth.org/sanbernardino