McClellan Business Park and a Roseville health care firm are seeking late-session legislative help to convert two former Air Force barracks into a $10 million live-in care facility for up to 72 seriously ill or injured patients.
The business park and Innovations Health Systems of Roseville want to build six separate care units for 12 patients each. They would be situated in a pair of three-story barracks at the former McClellan Air Force Base.
The proposed development, two years in the making, promises to create a home-style living environment for people needing care and rehabilitation for medical conditions such as traumatic brain injuries, severe cardiac events or strokes.
To undertake the project, however, backers need a waiver from state law that limits such residential care facilities to 12 beds in a single home or building. The project would place 36 beds in each former barrack.
In writing the 1988 law, legislators said, "Being able to remain in a small facility in a residential neighborhood is not only progressive and humane, but cost effective as well."
State Assemblyman Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova, and Senate leader Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, are backing legislation amended Sept. 4 that would specifically exempt four McClellan barracks from the 12-bed limit.
Though the current project would use only two buildings, Cooley said Senate Bill 534 by Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, exempts two additional barracks that potentially could serve the same purpose. The bill is expected to be heard in committee Monday.
McClellan Business Park consulted with the California Department of Public Health on its ambitious plan to redevelop concrete barracks into a live-in care center with oxygenated rooms and a backup power generation system.
Officials advised the project's backers that they would need a change in state rules for residential care facilities for the project to go through.
The twin-building project, if built, would serve patients who would require more intensive care than a skilled nursing facility and less acute care than a hospital, said Ken McGuire, CEO of Innovations Health Systems, which would lease and manage the facility.
"There is a broad spectrum of patients who need help in our local environment, and there is no place for them to go," said McGuire, who said separate centers in the barracks may offer medical and rehabilitative care as well as end-of-life care.
Department of Public Health spokeswoman Anita Gore said she could not comment on pending legislation. The proposed care facility would be licensed and regulated by the Department of Public Health and Department of Developmental Services.
Larry Kelley, president of McClellan Business Park, which would pay for the redevelopment, said the plan is to create both a "hospital-like and home-like environment" for patients.
McGuire said the two barracks would house six care facilities in which patients would have their own rooms and share common dining facilities. He said the two buildings would be staffed by up to 100 medical professionals and care workers.
Call The Bee's Peter Hecht, (916) 326-5539.