New SoHum Health Hospital Facility Drawings Planned

This is a press release from SoHum Health:

Questions have arisen since the last SoHum Health governing board meeting on January 30 regarding architectural drawings for the construction of the community’s replacement hospital and clinic. The new facility footprint will be behind the existing building at 286 Sprowel Creek Road in Garberville. Previous drawings depicted a two-story facility, including surgical areas, future service expansion, and other spaces, which will not be present in the new project design. Significantly, the hospital may only require a single-story building with these changes.

The SoHum Health Facilities Committee, which includes district staff, two District board members and two local building contractors, held a meeting on January 13th. The resulting recommendation to the district board was to approve funding of revised conceptual drawings.

Previous plausible design drawings confirmed that the construction of the new facilities would meet current standards for services, including room space requirements, on-site utility infrastructure, and parking needs. In addition, district staff has worked on many other reviews and assessments including Airport Land Use Compliance legal review and FAA approval, a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment, Geotechnical and Geologic studies, and Archeological review. Based on the previous cost of work, new drawings would likely be between $50,000-$100,000. This study will also consider how we might take advantage of a multi-million dollar construction cost savings if we comply with seismic legislation now under consideration by the California Legislature.

At their meeting on January 30, 2020, the governing board made a recommendation to request that the SoHum Health Foundation consider funding a portion of this amount because of some significant cash outlays projected by the District over the next few months.

This next phase will provide the public with a clearer picture of what the new facilities will look like on the multilevel property, showing patients how they will navigate between the new modern hospital and clinic buildings and the existing structure which currently houses classrooms, meeting rooms, offices, and the Redwood Playhouse.

SoHum Health has engaged Moore-Uebel Architecture out of Santa Rosa for this project. The firm has an established relationship with OSHPD (Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development), the agency which oversees building and maintenance compliance of hospital facilities in California.

With this revision, the Southern Humboldt community will be another step closer to a new, modern hospital and clinic, and improved health services.



  • Disappointed patient

    Ah yes, another reactive response to a news report about the hospital. They’ve taken so long trying to build this hospital that it’ll now be less than half the size for the same price to the community. And why include a new clinic? It’s the hospital that we’ve been told for years needs to be replaced, and it’s the ER we voted to subsidise with our tax money. We want/need a good ER in our community. If the administrators lived here, shopped here, and were a part of our community, they might understand that better.

  • Here is yet another installment of the most pernicious fantasy in SoHum:

    The New Hospital!

    Guess what? Even if this turkey is ever built, it will be much smaller than proposed, it will have fewer services than were promised, and, the property will prove to be too small for the purpose!

    Not only that, but there will be inadequate parking and infrastructure in Garberville.

    It is the wrong project, in the wrong place, and, it always takes a sizeable donation from a wealthy person, to get the ground broken on these things at all… So we hope that someone is in the mood to bequeath 5-10 million dollars…

    Yes, SHCHD can borrow, it can tax, it always promises, and often threatens, and the infantile infatuation with possessing a new hospital continues, ad nauseum…
    Anything but operate sensibly and profitably, anything but deliver needed services and develop clientele and a relationship with the community, anything but treating the employees and professional staff fairly and with dignity! Just bull ahead, hire some more contractors, dream on, as usual, and pretend that SHCHD or SoHum Health or whatever they call it now, is even partially grounded in reality!

    The challenge is, there is just no THERE, there… SoHum Health may run a clinic, may have an Urgent Care Room, might have a few SNF beds left, but, nobody seems to care, and few in the immediate population ever walk in the door. If they did, they would also be the disappointed patient, the patient paying the high cost for marginal services… But SoHum Health has no client base, no donor base, no acumen and no cohesive plan for success!

    I would again advise folks in SoHum to become involved, demand to be allowed to participate, and insist that the District endeavor to deliver needed services, because in the end, folks, they will want you to pay for their shiny new building! And probably well before it is under construction…

  • Logic & reason are medical conditions. See your local horsepittal(sic) for treatment

  • Oh my God you guys..or are you one guy? that was fast and furious. Lol! Actions speak louder than your silly words. Grow up and grow away.

    • Bunny,

      Drive over to Alturas, check out the “new” Modoc Medical Center, being built on a large piece of property, by some folks who have some idea of what they are doing. With two big donors and the USDA behind them, a well planned and appropriately sized facility is expected to be complete this year!

      But even in Alturas, there is dissent!

      Bunny, with the right folks in charge, new hospitals can be built! In Garberville, they chose a poor site, which is too small. You folks might love the old school building, but this project would have been better built on an empty site, outside town.

      I’m talking abut the difference between having a hospital that “is what we have” instead of something that was built with the benefit of the community in mind!

      Poor planning, odd motivations, and the wrong folks in charge. These are the hallmarks of Garberville and SoHum Health.

      Sohum has failed to direct, failed to participate, and now these clowns are intent on building another second-rate facility… With community money.

      And if criticized, Garberville folks get abusive, and then hire some consultants…

      If you use it, participate in the planning! It’s your public agency, so demand some role in the process, or you will end up with more of the same poor quality services.

  • I don’t know that members of the community don’t use the services of the hospital, but historically they certainly did, and part of the problem is that increased regulation, intended to insure the safety of the patients but always with large urban hospitals as a model, reduced the amount of services a small rural hospital can provide. For example, back in the 90’s, Dr. Hunter of RRHC (and I think both Dr. Phelps, as well, but Bill H is the one I remember), who was licensed as a family practitioner, was able to deliver babies at the hospital and to act as back-up to the nurse midwives, who could then do deliveries at the hospital for those who wanted to give birth in hospital. This service, a “well” service for the most part, brought in revenue and even more importantly, made the hospital a real part of the community. But by the end of the ’80’s only a actual ob-gyn was allowed to deliver or supervise mid-wives, because of federal regulation (correct me if I’m wrong, those of you more au courant than I). I think the hospital began its decline, along with health services in the region in general, about then.
    I don’t know what happened with the imaging dept, but I recall having a sonogram right in G’ville an hour or so after I complained of bizarre shooting pains in my leg, and the person who did it was the great Dr. Huang, an actual radiologist, who assured me that I did NOT have a blot clot in my leg — thank you!! — but rather an orthopedic issue.
    These are a couple of personal examples, and I know the issues here are many and complex, but it really is important to have at the very least a 24-hour urgent care center in town when the next closest place is an hour away. I hope that the community can pull together on this one.

  • Don’t you think your pulling the cart before the horse here, given the Hospital Districts engineering report from LACO estimates water use and waste water discharge for this new hospital at 5 Million gallons per year (March 2019). Then add in the new use of the old hospital building, which was approx 1 Million gallons a year, according to GSD, then GSD has very little water in reserve or can divert from the South Fork Eel under its current Water Rights diversion license and permit. And the way GSD is approving new development projects (new hotels, swimming pools, restaurants, apartments, micro brewery, cannabis manufacturing, drinking fountains, office and retail space), using more and more water, Garberville, as a whole will be tapped out (no pun intened) in the blink of an eye and in no time, leaving everyone high and dry (pun intened), including the South Fork Eel.

    So if I was on the the SoHum Health governing board, SoHum Health Facilities Committee or SoHum Health Foundation, if I were you, I’d be looking into those little unknown anomalies, its very basic if you ask me…

    • And, there’s still nowhere to live, and few professionals who will locate in Garberville, as it currently exists.

      SoHum Health had to do something. My question has consistently been: Why this? Why here?

      • Its no different than the new $5 Million Dollar Water Treatment GSD build down by the Park, a mile outside and below town, built using public funding, only to be built on non-public private property in a known landslide area (McKee). We asked the same questions you ask, only to be criticized and ostracized for asking legitimate questions from a public agency. Garberville does not have the water capacity or treatment capacity for these haphazard development schemes, why would you build a new hospital with no water in its future? All they know how to do is spend public funding faster than you can say cranial-rectum disorder…

  • I sincerely hope they get off their butts and start building. Garberville and the surrounding area deserve a good hospital, as well as folks involved in traffic accidents that are closer to Garberville than Willits. At least a hospital that can stabilize people for transport to Fortuna, Eureka, etc.

  • The site is questionable, given the limited buildable area and the proximity to the airport compatibility zones. Not sure if they did a siting study looking looking at other potential sites, but the old shooting range above Redwood Drive in Redway (owned by the Bushnell’s?) might be a superior location.

    • At the very least, they could have decided to build where a helicopter might land, on a property big enough to land, and to park 150 cars, and away from the distractions of beautiful bustling vibrant Garberville…

      • If you remember, when Dazey was pitching the Community Park idea and asking for donations, Dazey claimed a new hospital and or new High School could be build down there at the Park. He also claimed there could be a new off ramp from 101 down to the Park. And now that the Park land use is zoned “Public Facilities”, I’m surprised the current Park Board has not kicked that idea around. However, Sprowel Creek Road is still the big hurdle for any major development at the Park…

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