Scripps Encinitas breaks ground on hospital expansion


Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas officials and donors participate in a groundbreaking for the new Lusardi Tower and Lusardi Pulmonary Institute on Thursday, June 8. Left to right: Debbi Lusardi, Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder, Scripps Encinitas Physician Chief Operating Executive Scott Eisman, M.D., Warner Lusardi, Scripps Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Bigelow, and Scripps Corporate Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer John Engle. (Scripps Health photo)

North Coast Current

Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas marked the beginning of a major expansion Thursday, June 8, with a groundbreaking ceremony for the $263 million Lusardi Tower and Lusardi Pulmonary Institute.

The three-story, 224,000-square-foot complex, expected to be completed in about two years, will bring the hospital’s bed count to more than 230, according to a Scripps news release. The project is funded in part by a $25 million donation from philanthropists Warner and Debbie Lusardi of Rancho Santa Fe. It’s the largest gift that the Encinitas hospital has received.

“This event marked a major milestone in the final phase of a master plan that is propelling Scripps Encinitas into the future of health care with innovative growth that will serve the North County community for years to come,” Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder said in the news release.

The project will add 64 private inpatient rooms as well as 16 intensive care unit beds and several operating rooms.

Scripps officials noted the importance of the Lusardi facilities in Scripps Encinitas’ overall development over the past several years as part of its master plan.

“We’ve seen demand for health care services steadily grow over the past decade at Scripps Encinitas, and we expect that trend to continue,” Scott Eisman, M.D., physician chief operating executive of the hospital, said in Scripps’ news release. “The Lusardi Tower and other master plan projects ensure that the campus will continue to serve the needs of our patients for many years to come.”

Phase one of the master plan, which included the Leichtag Foundation Critical Care Pavilion, was completed in 2016. The second phase included a three-story, 68,000-square-foot medical office pavilion at the medical campus’ north end.

Scripps’ presence in Encinitas dates back to 1964, when the hospital first opened. The hospital has grown to include 24-hour emergency care, a neonatal intensive care unit, heart care, cancer care and orthopedics, among other services.