Thousands fluttered around Sutter’s Fort on Saturday, partaking in a buffet of free events highlighting the major renovations to the nearby Sutter medical campus.
The longest lines were those for tours of the Anderson Lucchetti Women’s and Children’s Center, a glossy new facility whose ribbon was cut earlier that morning. It marked the first time the public was invited to tread the still-waxy floors of Sacramento’s new baby hospital.
The 10-story, 242-bed facility will replace the Sutter Memorial Hospital in East Sacramento, which was built in 1937 and needed to be updated to meet current earthquake standards. Plans to consolidate the maternity hospital with Sutters’ other services have been underway for more than a decade.
“We’ve spent dozens of years constructing a medical campus that will bring a new era of health care to the Sacramento region,” said Carrie Owen Piletz, CEO of the medical center.
Among the biggest upgrades are private rooms for mothers, with clear views of downtown Sacramento and the Sierra beyond. Each room has space for visiting family and a lounging area that converts into a bed for overnight stay.
Marilyn Fitchie, a Sacramento native who was born at Sutter Memorial and birthed six of her eight children there, said she’s feeling sentimental about the old hospital closing, but was excited to see the new facility, where she hopes some of her future grandchildren will be delivered.
“When you have a baby, you want your family there and you want your privacy,” she said. “The rooms and the views were just beautiful.”
The medical campus now has its own helicopter landing, which reduces the time needed to transport critical patients, including premature babies, to care. There is also a new pediatric emergency department.
Dave Lucchetti, who provided a large portion of the funding for the $812 million center, said he looks forward to seeing Sacramento families receive care there. From his own family, 42 people were born at Sutter Memorial.
“It’s really a telling sign of Sacramento rising higher than it has in the past, he said. “We’ve seen great things go on here in Sacramento, and this is just an additional part of it.”