Aftershocks from the Northridge earthquake of 1994 are still being felt by local hospitals, which are spending millions of dollars to meet seismic standards deadlines enacted just five weeks after the destructive temblor.
Glendale Adventist Medical Center estimates it will spend roughly $240 million — most of that in the form of a new tower — to meet standards state legislators set in February 1994, with deadlines of 2013 for hospitals to ensure higher levels of safety for buildings housing patients.
"What we have spent to date on our new towers and what we are continuing to spend is in the neighborhood of $240 million," said Warren Tetz, chief operating officer of Glendale Adventist. "It is much more than anyone anticipated, and at a time when the hospital industry is having difficulties."
The California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, which oversees the seismic compliance effort, says $20-billion worth of reinforcement work is being planned or completed by hospitals around the state.