Doctors Hospital of Manteca is looking to grow the medical professional base to serve the community by building 40,000 square feet of office space in a two-story structure.
The complex is envisioned for land south of the DHM campus between North Street and Yosemite Avenue.
The decision comes on the heels of Dr. Amarjit Dhaliwal advancing plans to build three structures with between 29,000 and 30,000 square feet of space roughly four blocks from the hospital in Spreckels Park off Norman Drive. Dhaliwal’s $8 million project is dubbed the Valley Medical & Health Center and is being built on 2.5 acres west of the two-story Valley Cancer Center in land where the former Spreckels Sugar factory office still stands.
The two medical office projects going forward underscores the demand as well as coming growth in the DHM’s market area that includes 125,000 residents in Manteca an Ripon as well as nearby communities.
Doctors Hospital CEO Ike Mmeje said the hospital is in the process of recruiting a long list of doctors from family practice physicians to specialists running the gamut of ear, nose and throat to pain, orthopedics, pulmonary, general surgery and neurology.
Mmeje noted many doctors have been visiting the DHM campus but there is little opportunity for them to set up an office facility in the immediate area due to the lack of office space. The office space being built by the development firm of G.L. Bruno Associates on a lease purchase basis is within walking distance of the hospital. It could be in place by late 2018.
“Our goal is to support the medical needs of the residents of the Manteca and Ripon communities,” Mmeje said. “I’m confident in the project, because the new physicians need to be close to the hospital. Our marketing area currently totals about 125,000 people, and added to that, are the patients coming from Lathrop, French Camp, Stockton, Tracy and Oakdale.”
The new DMH project includes the creation of a large urgent care unit for the community – a step up from the emergency unit now at the hospital. The emergency department will see the addition of a Rapid Care unit.
The hospital is currently upgrading its CT equipment from its present 64 slice capacity to a greater 128 slice capacity that will provide lower doses of radiation for a better view and the ability to perform urograms and angiography. It represents a $2 million investment in the community. A temporary MRI unit is currently seen parked behind the hospital during the upgrade.
“We’ll be performing Brachytherapy. This is an advanced cancer treatment, using radioactive seeds or sources placed near the tumor with a high radiation dose to the tumor while reducing radiation exposure to the surrounding healthy tissues,” Mmeje said.
In an advance in urology treatments, Doctors Hospital will include a state of the art procedure for the treatment of enlarged prostates, he added.
Mmeje pointed to a study that shows a contrast between medical doctor availability in the Greater Bay Area in contrast to the San Joaquin Valley where the valley has 80 specialists per 100,000 residents with the Bay Area claiming 175 per 100,000 population.
The Bay Area with its seven million residents has 86 primary care physicians per 100,000 residents with the valley having only 48 per 100,000 serving its total four million residents. The valley statistics show 16 percent of its people to be uninsured while the Bay Area reports a less than nine percent.
Those most in need have the least access to good health care, he noted in a “Tale of Two Regions” handout from his office.
Dhaliwal’s newest project further solidifies the Norman Drive location as being a hub for medical care in Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop. The hospital has its imaging center there that’s part of two other medical office complexes that also includes a pharmacy. Doctors Hospital last year opened a $7 million outpatient surgical center just north of the Valley Cancer Center to take pressure off the hospital’s main surgery suites and increase convenience for those having outpatient procedures. The 6,000-square-foot building includes three operating rooms and two procedure rooms.
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