Lacey Peterson
The Union Democrat

Sonora Regional Medical Center, Tuolumne County's largest health care provider, celebrated 10 years at its Greenley Road location on Tuesday.

Sonora Regional has come a long way from its roots at the Bromley Sanitarium and Sierra Hospital. It offers state of the art modern health care for county residents and beyond.

On Jan. 14, 2004, with a to-do list of over 400 items checked off and after a year and a half of planning, Sonora Community Hospital was moved from Forest Road to the $47 million, 160,000-square-foot Sonora Regional Medical Center on Greenley Road in four hours.

The three-story medical center with a helicopter pad, four surgery suites, a six-room birth center, four acres of parking and 74 patient beds, was a step into the 21st century for Tuolumne County health care.

A decade later, Sonora Regional has expanded even more and now has two new Prompt Care clinics - one at its Forest Road Wellness Center and one in Angels Camp - a rural health clinic complete with pediatric offices, an off-site outpatient surgery center, an imaging center and plans for a multi-million dollar new cancer center and medical pavilion.

Since its move to Greenley Road, SRMC has added key services each year and continues to treat more patients.

In its first year, the Cardiac Catheterization Lab opened up with the help of a $2 million capital campaign raised through community donations, said Gail Witzlsteiner, hospital spokeswoman.

Highlights that followed:

• In 2005, the Cancer Center opened a mammography center.

• In 2006, the Diagnostic Imaging Center opened.

• In 2007, the Forest Road Rural Health Clinic opened, as did the Forest Road Prompt Care, and a new vascular clinic.

• In 2008, SRMC began offering digital mammography and the pediatric clinic opened.

• In 2009, the Cancer Center opened its radiation-oncology lab. At the proposed new cancer center, there will be a new radiation bunker, Witzlsteiner said. Also in 2009, the hospital acquired Hospice of the Sierra and opened a wound care clinic.

• In 2010, the Live Well Be Well Center opened and offers a wide spectrum of healthy living classes including nutrition and exercise. It also offers cardiac rehabilitation, medical nutritional therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation. There are also numerous health-related support groups and smoking cessation programs offered. That year the Cedar Road physical therapy center opened and an ear nose and throat clinic opened.

• In 2011, SRMC opened its Angels Camp Prompt Care clinic and a Center for Joint Replacement. Its second pharmacy on Forest Road also opened in 2011.

• In 2012, it purchased the Andy's Hardware property on Greenley Road and plans to house its new cancer center and medical pavillion there. The same year, the hospital also opened its Angels Camp physical therapy clinic.

Last year, the hospital implemented "Project Intellicare 2.0," a computer system upgrade designed to improve electronic medical record-keeping, billing operations and other clerical systems. The upgrade focused on five areas: billing and registration, electronic health records, electronic physician transcription, patient web portals and case management.

Project Intellicare 2.0 was part of the hospital's efforts to qualify for Medicare incentive payments, intended to encourage computerizing health records, and to prevent penalties under the 2008 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

For the full story see today's Union Democrat.