Morgan Hill Healthcare
In recent years Morgan Hill residents seeking healthcare have found themselves stuck between San Jose, with its many hospitals and clinics, and Gilroy, home to the 93-bed St. Louise Regional Hospital. However, that situation is changing thanks to an expanding population and leadership from the City of Morgan Hill, which has identified expanding the healthcare industry as one of its top economic priorities.
“People in Morgan Hill have gotten very used to the idea that they have to travel for their healthcare. They have to go up to San Jose, maybe they go down to St. Louise,” said Cecily Murray, a management consultant for the Camino Ear, Nose and Throat Clinics and Lillian Commons. “It’s time for Morgan Hill to have excellent state of the art healthcare.”
Camino already has an office off of Tennant Avenue and now Lillian Commons, LLC is looking to significantly invest in the adjacent land, including filing preliminary plans to build a new 55-bed facility in the city.
Expanded services are also on the horizon at the 24-acre site of the De Paul Medical Center now that it has been purchased by the County of Santa Clara along with St. Louise and San Jose’s O’Connor Hospital.
“Our model of care is changing. This county was quite advanced in trying to expand our patient population because we realized that it’s no longer just people who show up at the county emergency room who need health care,” said Santa Clara County Executive Dr. Jeff Smith. “Morgan Hill is a community that is expanding rapidly. There’s a lot of need here.”
Morgan Hill had a full service hospital from 1989-1999 when St. Louise operated at the De Paul site before relocating to Gilroy. In the ensuing two decades, Smith says the upkeep at De Paul was inadequate and now there are mold and other infrastructure issues that make reopening it as a full service hospital impractical, but the County still plans to expand healthcare services there.
“We’re going to expand the outpatient services – lab, x-ray, surgery center – those kinds of things,” said Smith. “We’re coming up with plans to carve out the old emergency room and ORs to use as urgent care and a surgery center. Probably within two years we’ll be able to have it reopened.”
The expansion at De Paul will proceed in tandem with service increases at St. Louise to provide residents in the South Valley with a wide array of options, according to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Hospital and Clinics CEO Paul Lorenz.
“What we are looking to do is complement the Morgan Hill facility in terms of growth of outpatient services with the inpatient facility at St. Louise,” said Lorenz.
A plurality of Morgan Hill residents get their healthcare from Kaiser Permanente, and they have to drive to San Jose or Gilroy to see their doctor, but Kaiser Permanente San Jose Chief Medical Officer Dr. Efren Rosas says that is going to change as Kaiser is looking to open a Morgan Hill medical office.
“Our idea is to be closer to where our members live because traffic can be tough in this little corridor here,” said Rosas.
There is a lot of reason for optimism about healthcare growth in Morgan Hill over the next several years because so many providers are interested in the city, according to Lorenz.
“Our ability to deliver comprehensive, integrative, health care is really about working together,” said Lorenz.
For more information, visit www.choosemorganhill.com.