Valley's Children's ,City of Merced working on opening specialty care facility

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- Medical care is moving closer to home for thousands of North Valley families. Valley Children's Hospital is moving forward with plans for a new medical facility in the city of Merced.

"We hear regularly the need for advanced medical care. They will be serving up to 14 thousand people out of the facility here in Merced," Economic Development Director Frank Quintero said.

The Merced City council unanimously voted to enter a negotiation agreement with the medical center.

The plan is to initially open a 20 thousand acre facility on this lot along Yosemite Avenue and Mansionette Drive.

Last year, Valley Children's took care of around 14 thousand kids from Merced County last year. Despite having a couple of physicians in town, They were only able to keep 23 percent of those patients in Merced.

"With the investment in the specialty care center, at the new site, we can keep over 10 thousand of those kids in Merced County," Valley Children's CEO and President Todd Suntrapak said.

Along with pediatric care, it will also include specialty care, like pediatric cardiology and neurology. Suntrapak also said the site will have interactive art and technology, setting it apart from your average doctor's office.

"The facility will be anchored and designed in a notion in keeping kids well more of the time," Suntrapak said.

The proposed price for the property is about $2.1 million dollars.

"This is the first step to begin the transaction on land. Ultimately, they'll secure entitlements and then begin construction. So from start to finish, it'll be 18 months to 2 years," Quintero said.

Valley Children's most recently opened a specialty care center in Bakersfield in early October. They're also planning outpatient centers in both Visalia and North Fresno.

At full build-out, the Merced facility could create 50 to 60 jobs.
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