Gateway hospital put on back burner
by Sam Matthews
Dec 28, 2012 | 5899 views | 12 12 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
New hospital delayed
Visitors leave Sutter Tracy Community Hospital on Monday, Dec. 24. The hospital announced it is delaying plans to build a new hospital at the Gateway business park.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Sutter Tracy Community Hospital won’t begin developing a new hospital campus in the Gateway Business Park on Tracy’s West Side for a decade or longer and instead will focus on improving the existing hospital’s facilities.

“We will retain the 36 acres we have purchased in Gateway, but we will hold off on any development for at least 10 to 15 years,” said Dave Thompson, the hospital’s chief executive officer.

The new hospital building has been seen by the city of Tracy as one of the centerpieces of the Gateway project, according to City Manager Leon Churchill.

Though Churchill said the hospital’s decision was based on solid business philosophy, he nevertheless called the announcement “a blow.”

Churchill said that while the decision

could slow the growth

of the medical sector in the business park, Gateway still presents a high-end development opportunity unique to the area.

“I think Gateway is still well-positioned if the developers and investors are reasonably patient,” Churchill said. “That west side of the city is still going to be well-positioned for the sectors in environmental solutions and high-tech factories and logistics.”

Sutter Health Systems, the local hospital’s Sacramento-based parent, decided to purchase the Gateway property in 2006 and completed the purchase in 2009. The thrust of the project was to make the Gateway campus the main hospital, with the hospital on Tracy Boulevard becoming a satellite facility.

After reviewing the projected needs of Sutter Community Hospital in the immediate future, however, it was decided in recent months to hold off development of a new facility, which could cost up to $200 million, Thompson said.

Before a final decision was made, the issue was discussed with Sutter Health’s regional board, the hospital’s medical staff and the Tracy Hospital Foundation, he reported.

The administrator explained that the decision was based on two factors: a slowing of housing construction in both Tracy and Mountain House and shorter patient stays in the existing Sutter Tracy Community Hospital.

The result is that fewer patient beds are needed.

Capital improvement

projects planned in the next several years for the existing facility will be financed by Sutter Health Systems funds, coupled with money raised by the Tracy Hospital Foundation, the community outreach and fundraising nonprofit affiliated with Sutter Tracy Community Hospital.

Unlike some other Sutter Health Systems hospitals, Sutter Tracy has no seismic problems that would require major retrofitting for earthquake safety, the hospital’s administrator said.

“This will permit the investments in the current facility over the next two years, bundled under the name ‘Leapfrog,’ to improve patient safety,” Thompson said.

He said a first step will be a $750,000 project to transform 36 double-bed rooms into single rooms equipped with ceiling-mounted apparatus that can lift immobile patients in and out of beds, while also reducing the number of in-patient beds.

The hospital foundation is kicking off a fundraising drive to finance its share of project, said Stuart Rogoff, the foundation’s executive director.

“At a gathering of foundation supporters last week, elements

of the project were outlined with a demonstration of the patient-lift system,” he said. “Everyone was enthusiastic about the project and its potential to improve the hospital’s safety for patients.”

For example, Rogoff said, a patient in bed can be lifted into a wheelchair or, if using a walker, lifted to a standing position.

A major initial fundraiser for the project will be a foundation-sponsored Gala for Life Champions for Health recognition dinner Jan. 24 at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church’s Holy Family Center on Valpico Road.

Rogoff said the first $100,000 raised by the foundation will be matched by Sutter Health Systems.

• Contact Sam Matthews at 830-4234 or

• Jon Mendelson contributed to this report.
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January 03, 2013
Thanks Louis. Coached soccer in this town for 15 years, volunteered at each school my 4 kids went to, all have graduated and I STILL volunteer at these schools, supported local charities. So glad all my children got out of this city. How dare you tell me I wasn't involved. I don't know how long you lived her but I've been here 20 years. T town should have tried to remain the small town farm town that it truly is but instead tried to mimic something it could never be and it has failed and continues to decline. Lift your gaze from your laptop and look around this shanty town. 2 years and I will be very happy when our plan to flee this armpit town comes to pass. But you Louie enjoy.
January 03, 2013
Oh and I truly want you to enjoy that 24/7 amusement park they are trying to bring in here. Great idea. You think Tracy is so special now, wait until that one comes to pass. lol Not that it will ever happen. The brains behind this city's future plans are the problem, not Tracy citizens.
January 03, 2013
Not sure why you think Tracy is an "armpit" Number 108. But I actually enjoy life here. Who cares if the 24/7 amusement park comes or not or Sutter needs 200 beds instead of 300. That is probably a good thing. Less sick people. I think it is better to enjoy your life than hinge your life on an amusement park or a hospital bed. Are you planning to work at Disney through your retirement?

What is your gripe about Tracy? Instead of carping on the people who are volunteering at the schools and doing the work then go. Probably we are doing fine without you and if you want to go then go.
January 03, 2013
"if you want to go then go."

Can do powercaddy.
January 03, 2013

Tracy never tried to become another Bay Area. Tracy has always said it is unique. If the schools are that bad it is because you don't get involved. Tracy has a lot to offer over other cities like lower crime. And Tracy has attracted more business than many other nearby cities. With your lack of knowledge about your community, it is no surprised why you are unhappy. You would be unhappy anywhere.
January 03, 2013
Tracy tried to become an extension of the bay area but has devolved into a sub-division of Stockton. There are a boat load of vacant strip malls, a joke of a mall, and city management that can barely attract a cell phone cover kiosk to thrive. The schools are terrible and anyone who moves here is going to be terribly disappointed when in 5 years you cannot tell the difference between T town and Stockton. One already is the left armpit of California and the other is fast becoming the right.
December 29, 2012
The Sutter Health network of doctors, hospitals and other health care service providers announced its financial performance for 2011. Sutter Health’s combined 2011 systemwide income from the day-to-day operations of its hospitals, care centers and other services was $697 million, compared to $685 million in 2010. Sutter Health also posted a loss of $14 million in investment income and changes in net unrealized gains and losses from investments classified as trading in 2011, compared to a gain of $236 million in 2010. Total income for 2011 was $634 million, compared to $878 million in 2010. The system’s total 2011 operating revenues were $9.1 billion, compared to $8.8 billion in 2010.

Sutter Health’s 2011 operating performance includes $69 million of net supplemental payments associated with California’s temporary program to obtain federal matching dollars to partially offset underpayments in previous years for the care of Medi-Cal patients. Operating expenses do not include interest and depreciation associated with $1.5 billion of facility assets under construction. Operating Sutter’s new technologically-advanced, seismically-compliant hospitals will add over $300 million in annua
December 29, 2012
Funny. When I purchased my first place in Dublin back in 2005 (completed construction in 2006), the outlets were originally supposed to be in the middle of all those condos (near Lowe's, etc). Then, the city and the builder got into it and construction never happened. Ergo, 6 years later, they moved and are doing lots of business next door in Livermore a mile or two down the road. Point being, when developers are motivated, they will go where they must to get business rolling. Businesses will continue to overlook Tracy for that very reason. What happened to Krispy Kreme? The BMW to the Auto Mall? Everything else that was "supposed" to come? Promises in a vacuum I tell you.
December 29, 2012
In business, Tracy is the Triangular Vacuum.

Money-making people and businesses are motivated by making money, not wasting time. If the city's only good at wasting time, the money-making people and businesses take their prospects to other cities that aren't as proficient at time-wasting but are more keen on making money and generating an income for the city and for the folks who live there and want jobs there. I'm not a fan of Krispy Kreme, but it's a lot better than a run-down, empty former fast food joint.

The city's losing potential jobs by postponing the new hospital, including many higher-income positions. However, since someone dropped the ball somewhere along the way, spending all that money on the new hospital right now just doesn't make sense.

While waiting 10-15 years for the hospital to be built, we could build something else nearby to create jobs, but they'd end up as low-paying fast food jobs, which we certainly don't need. If we can't attract higher-class businesses with the prospect of a new hospital 10-15 years away, we should just leave the dirt lots alone in the interim.

If Tracy is poised to change, I hope it becomes more like Dublin and less like Stockton.
December 28, 2012
Does this meen they will not finish Lammers Rd. Lammers Rd has been under construction for 3 years
December 28, 2012
I doubt they will finish it either way.

This is a real gem:

“I think Gateway is still well-positioned if the developers and investors are reasonably patient,”

Reasonably patient?? How long have our leaders been talking about Gateway? 10 years? Maybe more? Sorry but if it were my money I wouldnt have it sitting around waiting for Tracy to get its crap together just so I can invest it here. I would just move on and invest it elsewhere.

With how long the city has been talking about this I wouldnt be surprised if most of the investors and developers aged so much that they are now senile and forgot they were even planning to invest in it.

Kudos to Sutter for talking a rational look at the actual need in terms of patient beds and for not tossing around money frivolously.
December 30, 2012
I moved here in 2003, there was word of a technology center that was supposed to be built. that never happened either. Tracy Delta College broke ground. Mostly there are portables out there.

I shudder at the idea of an amusement park running 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Unlikely that will ever be built. I couldn't imagine the noise and traffic. The echo from the Soccer match loud speaker can be heard over my entire neighborhood (2 miles from the field).

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