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Health News  A service of Saint John's Health Center

Saint John's Unveils Maria Shriver Nursery

When the 1994 Northridge earthquake devastated Saint John’s, there was an unprecedented flood of community support for the Health Center – and among those at the forefront were Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his remarkable wife, Maria Shriver.

Longstanding patrons of the Health Center, the Schwarzeneggers (whose children were born at Saint John’s) donated proceeds from the Governor’s hit movie, Junior, to help rebuild the old “Junior” Nursery.

This fall, to honor Maria for her devotion to children and family, Governor Schwarzenegger surprised his wife with a special birthday present: a gift to The Campaign for Saint John’s to name the new nursery after his wife, Maria Shriver.

“I’ve never seen Maria happier than she was at the moment she gave birth to each of our four children here at Saint John’s,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “She always says that motherhood is her first and most important job. This nursery is a fitting tribute to her belief in the importance of children and motherhood.”

The Maria Shriver Nursery has the capacity to care for 24 babies at one time including critically ill newborns.

As a tribute to Maria in recognition of her family’s extraordinary generosity, the new Legacy of Children Wall is designed to incorporate her words of inspiration to young parents. The wall will be located in the family-friendly waiting area adjacent to the facility where a child-friendly viewing window enables young siblings to get their first glimpse of their new brother or sister in the Maria Shriver Nursery.

The nursery is housed in Saint John’s new North Pavilion, which was formally unveiled to the public last month. The facility will officially open for patients in December 2004.

The completion of the 200,000-square-foot North Pavilion is the culmination of the first phase of an extensive reconstruction plan begun after the Northridge earthquake severely damaged the original hospital in 1994. The replacement hospital will be the only one on the Westside with a state-of-the-art base isolation system that will allow the hospital to remain fully operational in the event of an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8.

Among the patient services featured in the North Pavilion are critical care, labor and delivery, neonatal intensive care, orthopedics, oncology and general medical surgical beds. Also included are various support services such as the Pharmacy, Laboratory, Food Service and Medical Records.

The four-story, 182-bed inpatient facility combines the latest advances in medical technology with the newest in patient care-giving environments.

The second step of the new Saint John’s rebuilding plan is the construction of a 275,000-square-foot, four-story diagnostic and treatment facility, which will be built on the site of the original hospital and is anticipated to be completed in January 2009. To make way for the new facility, the demolition of the oldest hospital building on the site, the Main Wing, will take place in January 2005.

Ranked the number one community hospital in California, Saint John’s Health Center provides a full spectrum of treatment and diagnostic services in cardiac care, cancer care, orthopedics, labor and delivery, critical care and other specialties. For more information, please call Saint John’s at (310) 829-5511 or visit the health center’s website at

Health News is provided by Saint John's Health Center and covered under their copyrights