NEWPORT BEACH — The newly renovated and expanded emergency department at Hoag Hospital will become one of the largest and most technologically advanced in the county after completion, a hospital official said on Monday.
The Joan & Andy Fimiano Emergency Pavilion, named for the $70-million project's largest single contributing donors, was dedicated earlier this month.
The facility will have more than 50 beds and increased privacy after completion next year, said Dr. Richard Afable, Hoag president and chief executive.
The expansion is long overdue for the department, which was designed to service about 35,000 patient visits per year and had only 30 beds.
However, Hoag saw more than 72,000 emergency room visits last year, Afable said.
"We have been making do with less than ideal facilities, but we made it work in providing the care for emergency department and urgent care for many years," Afable said. "We have known this and have long planned to have a facility that can meet the need that community has already created."
In addition to being larger, the new emergency department is a "completely different experience" than the prior one, he said.
The waiting room was designed to impart feelings of "comfort, calm and confidence-building," he said.
There will also be five separate treatment suites, each with 10 to 12 private rooms.
Although the Fimianos asked that the amount of their donation remain private, the gift is among the three largest in hospital history, according to the release.
"The Fimianos are tremendous supporters of the community and tremendous supporters of Hoag," Afable said. "[Andy Fimiano], in his experience in emergency room many years ago, felt that all in the community should have access to the services of Hoag."
Andy Fimiano was rushed by his wife to the emergency department after displaying symptoms of anaphylactic shock in 2005, according to the hospital newsletter.
"My whole life could have changed in an instant," Joan Fimiano said, according to the article. "Since that experience I've slowed down to focus on the things that are most important to me. And, I made a promise to myself that someday we would find a way to do something to help Hoag."
"It's pleasing that something of us will remain after we're gone and that our legacy will touch the lives of countless patients and their families," she continued.
In all, 4,800 county residents contributed to the project. The Walter & Mary Frome Emergency Suite is named after Walter and Mary Frome for their $1-million donation. Also, a permanent tribute in the lobby of the Fimiano Pavilion is dedicated to Pamela Stowers for a $1-million donation and her years of service as a Hoag Auxiliary volunteer.