SAN DIEGO–Palomar Pomerado Health, the largest public health district by area in California, has shortened its name to Palomar Health and adopted a new logo.
The Palomar Health Board of Directors last month voted unanimously on the name change and logo to help boost the district’s name recognition during a period of major expansion. On Monday, the Board approved a color scheme for the new logo.
“This was the best time to do it,” Board Chairman T.E. (Ted) Kleiter says about the name change. “This is a history making year for us. Our culture, our buildings, our brand and image are all evolving. It is my hope that our name and logo will complement the positive changes in the district and what is in store beyond 2012.”
Palomar Health plans to open a new 740,000-square-foot, 11-story, 288-bed hospital (“The Hospital of the Future”) in west Escondido in August, the first new hospital in North County in more than 30 years. Construction of the new Palomar Medical Center began in 2007 and is being financed in part by Proposition BB, a $496-million bond that district voters overwhelmingly passed in 2004.
The existing Palomar Medical Center in downtown Escondido will remain open, take on a new name and become a facility that specializes in services for women and children as well as for patients in need of rehabilitation and behavioral health services. An urgent care clinic will also be added in place of the emergency department, which is moving to the new hospital.
Chairman Kleiter says shortening the name of the district to Palomar Health will help with name recognition, which has been a topic of discussion for years. “It will simplify it. We heard from the community about it being too hard to remember or pronounce,” Kleiter says.
The Board decided on the name change with help from research studies and focus groups. Staff members were also surveyed.
“While many agreed the current name is too long, most still liked the name ‘Palomar’ in some context,” Palomar Health President and CEO Michael H. Covert explains. “We will move forward with keeping the iconic name Palomar that is synonymous with a variety of landmarks in the region such as Palomar Mountain, Palomar Observatory and Palomar College,” Covert says.
The new name and logo will be phased in over several months. “We will use up the printed material we have now to conserve resources,” Covert states.
The name change applies to the health district only. Pomerado Hospital, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary in April, will keep its name.
Other future construction projects include a 7,600-square-foot health clinic in Ramona, which is scheduled to break ground in June. A bridge that will connect Pomerado Hospital and the Pomerado Outpatient Pavilion in Poway is also being planned.
Palomar Health is a public healthcare district with a service area of more than 800 square miles. More than 500,000 residents live in the district, which is governed by a publicly-elected board of directors.
Palomar Health currently operates two hospitals, two skilled nursing facilities, two outpatient health buildings and other facilities and is one of the largest employers in San Diego County with about 4,000 employees and more than 800 affiliated physicians.
In August, Palomar Health plans to open a $956 million new hospital in west Escondido with significant room to expand in the future.