New Scripps Health facility in Encinitas. Photo credit: Scripps Health via Facebook.

The newly expanded, $94 million emergency department at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas opened Tuesday.

The 26-bed ER is part of the 72,000-square-foot Leichtag Foundation Critical Care Pavilion, which includes 36 patient rooms, a central plant and new imaging equipment.

“With the steady population growth in North County, this expansion helps fill a critical community need by broadening Scripps’ capacity to treat an ever-increasing patient demand,” said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health.

“With all private rooms, our patients will notice a more comfortable environment and our staff will have more space to deliver care with even greater efficiency,” Van Gorder said.

Funding for the project started in 2009 with a $10 million donation from the Leichtag Foundation, set up in 1991 by Max “Lee” Leichtag and his wife, Andre “Toni” Leichtag.

According to Scripps Health, the population of the hospital’s surrounding region has increased by more than 20 percent since 2000, while the number of annual patient visits to the emergency department has grown by more than 50 percent.

Overall, the new building – which was anticipated as part of the hospital’s anniversary celebration – boosts the hospital’s bed count from 158 to 194.

Scripps also has emergency room locations in La Jolla, San Diego and Chula Vista.

– City News Service

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