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New hospital opens in Santa Monica, replacing St. John's

July 29, 2009 |  8:21 am

After 15 years of planning, fundraising and construction, St. John's Health Center today celebrates the completion of its replacement hospital, the Howard Keck Center. The technologically advanced center was built to replace the old hospital, which was badly damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

Constructed on tremor-absorbing base isolators, the center, on 22nd Street at Santa Monica Boulevard, features a four-story atrium and state-of-the-art equipment, including a 64-slice CT scanner and a 3-Tesla MRI scanner. The center will also house the John Wayne Cancer Institute.

At 9 a.m. today, Chief Executive Lou Lazatin, Chief of Staff Peter Pelikan and Sister Marie Madeleine Shonka will be on hand as Rick Caruso, a developer and St. John's trustee, delivers a keynote address.

Among the top contributors to the $499-million project were billionaire drug developer Patrick Soon-Shiong and his wife, Michele B. Chan, $25 million; the W.M. Keck Foundation, $20 million; and the Margie and Robert E. Petersen Foundation, $15 million. The late Howard Keck was one of six children of William Myron Keck, founder of Superior Oil Co. of California.

-- Martha Groves