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Appropriations bill funds $238k toward St. Joseph Hospital tower in Humboldt County

Yesterday Congressman Mike Thompson notified St. Joseph Health System – Humboldt County (SJHS-HC) that the appropriations bill signed by President Barack Obama includes $238,000 toward a new hospital tower at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, California. The monies will help support the $127 million hospital improvement project that will more than double the size of the Emergency Department from eight to 20 beds, add four additional Intensive Care Unit beds along with three additional operating rooms and several additional improvements.

"Today’s news is particularly important to us here in Humboldt County as we continue to feel the pinch of the economy on both our daily operations and our capital efforts to improve our facilities," said Joe Mark, President and CEO of SJHS-HC. "We are especially grateful to Congressman Thompson for helping champion this request. The Congressman continues to be a supportive community partner for St. Joseph Health and the people who live in Humboldt County. He partners with us to ensure access to healthcare services for local residents and to help secure the 1,200 jobs we provide to the people who work at our two Humboldt County hospitals, St. Joseph Hospital and Redwood Memorial Hospital."

"St. Joseph Hospital is an important pillar of our community," said Congressman Mike Thompson (D-North Coast). "By expanding the hospital’s capacity to serve the county, our families will have increased access to health care. Not only will our community be safer and healthier, but this hospital expansion project has generated much needed jobs."

The $238,000 appropriation will be used to help further construction that has already begun on the new three-story tower that will replace existing facilities that do not meet California seismic requirements. Today’s announcement brings SJHS-HC’s current fundraising total to more than $9.5 million through private and public support. Once the local health system reaches $12.5 million, its parent organization, St. Joseph Health, based in Orange, Calif., has pledged to match those monies dollar-for-dollar.

"We feel truly blessed to be part of such a generous community," Mark added. "The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange began their ministry right here in Humboldt County nearly 100 years ago. Over the years we have faced many challenges, much like today’s recession. The one thing I have learned about this community is regardless of the challenges ahead, we stick together – tough times might slow us down, but they don’t stop progress in Humboldt County."

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