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December 15, 2019

New hospital proposed for Morgan Hill

Officials discuss healthcare at panel

A new hospital and urgent care facility is proposed for Morgan Hill. Kaiser Permanente is looking at opening a medical office in the city. And the County of Santa Clara is preparing to remodel the De Paul Health Center.

The public heard about these projects during the latest talk in the Choose Morgan Hill Speaker Series on Nov. 7. The discussion, titled “Healthcare in Morgan Hill,” was held at the Granada Theater downtown.

Cecily Murray, management consultant at Camino Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic, said the clinic is running out of room at its current location at 16130 Juan Hernandez Drive, as more independent physicians are looking for space in the facility.

The four-acre property adjacent to the clinic, between Tennant and Barrett avenues, could be home to a 55-bed hospital, a 10,000-square-foot medical office building, a 4,000-square-foot urgent care facility, 10,000 square feet of commercial retail space, 200 multifamily units and open space, according to plans submitted to the city recently.

An operator for the hospital is currently unspecified.

The Morgan Hill Planning Commission will hold a preliminary review on the project, called Lillian Commons, in the near future, according to Economic Development Director Edith Ramirez.

“This is an exciting time for Morgan Hill,” Murray said. “We’re excited about the idea of bringing more doctors here.”

Dr. Efren Rosas, physician in chief at Kaiser Permanente San Jose, joined Santa Clara Valley Medical Center CEO Paul Lorenz and County Executive Officer Jeff Smith on the panel, which was moderated by Ramirez.

Rosas said more than 50 percent of Morgan Hill residents are Kaiser members, but have to travel to the busy Gilroy or San Jose offices to receive services. Kaiser has been talking with city officials about the possibility of opening a facility in Morgan Hill, he added.

“Our idea is to be closer to where our members live,” Rosas said.

Earlier this year, Santa Clara County purchased Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy, De Paul Health Center in Morgan Hill and O’Connor Hospital in San Jose for $235 million.

The county is looking at renovating the De Paul Health Center by expanding urgent care services into the former hospital’s emergency room. But the rest of the attached hospital building, which closed in 1999, might be too far deteriorated to be remodeled, according to Smith.

“It’s in such disrepair that we really don’t think it can be saved completely,” he said.

There is no firm timeline for renovations, according to Smith.

Ramirez said she was excited about the new developments in the Morgan Hill healthcare community.

“The outlook is looking pretty promising,” she said. “There are a wide range of service providers that are meeting different needs in the community, and all have an immediate intention to expand.”

Camino Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic currently occupies a small medical office building on a property shared with other medical providers, including Morgan Hill Imaging, South Valley Neurology and Advanced Orthopaedics. The property is adjacent to numerous large, vacant parcels of land in the area of Juan Hernandez Drive and Tennant Avenue. 

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