Looking to the future: Carson Tahoe Health reviewing its master plan

A new office building at 1505 Medical Parkway awaits a tenant in north Carson City near Carson Tahoe Health.

A new office building at 1505 Medical Parkway awaits a tenant in north Carson City near Carson Tahoe Health.

The already expansive medical area in north Carson City is growing.

Carson Tahoe Health has started to review the master plan for its 11 year-old campus, said Ed Epperson, president and CEO of the healthcare provider.

Last week, planners from Boulder Associates, an architectural firm who specializes in healthcare and senior living, came to town to meet with representatives from Carson Tahoe Health.

The goal is to update the master plan to prepare for the next decade.

“We’ll make projections as best we can to determine where healthcare is going in terms of services and populations,” said Epperson. “We’re just kicking off that process. It’s about a four-month process.”

Those projections will then dictate what kind of facilities the healthcare company will need to build.

Michelle Joy, vice president and chief operating officer, Carson Tahoe Health, is spearheading the project.

Epperson said one likely scenario is to take support services, such as technology and administration, and move those departments into a separate building or buildings built on now vacant land just east of the hospital.

Those departments now support more than the Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center, including Carson Tahoe Health facilities in Dayton, Minden and South Lake Tahoe.

“We’re now a small regional system,” said Epperson. “Ten years later we have about 25 locations, and 2,000 employees instead of a 1,000, and a staff of 35 in IT.”

Moving those departments also would free up space inside the 153-bed hospital to expand existing medical services or add new ones.

At the same time, the medical area off I-580 and U.S. 395 is growing, even outside the regional medical center’s campus.

Carson Dermatology, a five-physician practice, moved from 1100 S. Carson St. into a new 13,000 square-foot building at 1505 Medical Pkwy., earlier this month.

According to Leah Brekken, front office manager, the space is about three times the size of practice’s previous office, allowing it to expand to five surgery rooms and 10 exam rooms and to add a medical spa for an upcoming move into cosmetic services.

The office also includes a bigger front office and nursing station as well as a large break room for its 16 employees.

John Anderson Construction Inc. built the building in about 12 months.

It joins a slew of other medical offices there, including Carson Medical Group’s pediatric and obstetrics/gynecology practice on Medical Parkway and Gastroenterology Consultants, Carson Surgical Group, Carson Urologists and several other medical offices, all on Vista Lane.

Carson Tahoe Health had a hand in expanding the area even outside its facilities.

“It was noticeable right off the bat that there were no doctor offices here,” said Epperson.

So Carson Tahoe Health acquired about 7 acres along Vista Lane from Garth Richards and subdivided it for the half dozen or so medical offices there now.

The healthcare provider also built a two-story office building at 1470 Medical Pkwy., which houses the hospital’s health and wellness program and physicians’ practices including cardiology.

Carson Tahoe Health’s other facilities include Sierra Surgery, which opened in 2005, half a year before the hospital to its east.

The Carson Tahoe Cancer Center, which took $18 million to design and build, was added in 2006, followed by 15 adjacent cottages for patients’ family, made possible by a $2 million donation from Ruth Merriner.

More land is available for development, including 3.8 acres on Medical Pkwy., represented by Hone Company Commercial Real Estate, and 10 to 12 acres owned by Carson Tahoe Health, at least part of which is going to be used for new facilities identified in the updated master plan.


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