Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians pledge $300,000 to Palomar Medical Center

ESCONDIDO (KUSI) — The Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians pledged $300,000 to help build out the Emergency Department at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, the hospital announced Thursday.

The funding for the Palomar Health Foundation will pay for new patient treatment rooms that include state-of-the-art medical beds, monitors, technology and lifesaving equipment, along with additional clinical supportspace, hospital officials said. The project will fill in a shell that was built for the new space during construction of the hospital roughly five years ago.

“When considering how to make our donations meaningful to the North County, we wanted to make an investment that benefits as many people as
possible,” said Bo Mazzetti, Rincon chairman. “A contribution to meet increased emergency capacity at Palomar Medical Center Escondido was an obvious solution because at some time almost everyone is likely to need emergency care either for themselves or for family.”

He said Rincon members receive care at the hospital.

According to Dr. Jaime Rivas, emergency services medical director at Palomar Health, the emergency department sees an average of about 300 patients per day, a number he expects to climb in the future. The facility has 52 beds, which will climb by 14 when the work is completed by the end of this year.

“One of the many benefits from the increased capacity will be to allow the entire treatment team to better experience the joy of medicine,” Rivas said. “Happier doctors will translate to better care and overall satisfaction for patients.”

The expansion will also reduce wait times, he said. When the department opened five years ago, hospital officials expected to serve about 60,000 patients annually. The actual number has been over 100,000.

As North County’s only trauma center, Palomar Medical Center treats victims of car accidents, heart attacks, strokes, snake bites, head injuries and the like.

The Rincon contribution will be made over three years, with installments of $100,000 contributed annually, according to Palomar Health.

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