Friday, April 16, 2010 2:45 PM

Community Regional welcomes high-speed rail officials

Community Regional Medical Center was part of a city and county collaborative effort on April 15 dubbed “Fresno Works,” designed to attract interest to build a heavy maintenance facility for high-speed rail in Fresno. The proposed facility would bring thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue to the area.

Chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority Curt Pringle, along with Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin and Fresno County Supervisor Susan Anderson, arrived in a helicopter on the rooftop of the downtown hospital to meet County Supervisor Henry Perea for a tour of the region’s only comprehensive burn and Level 1 trauma centers.

“Fresno is competing very strongly for the heavy maintenance facility,” Pringle said. “This has been a good experience and the community has stepped forward significantly. It’s important to see the vital values it [the high-speed rail system] will add along the way.”

Community Regional houses the only burn and Level 1 trauma centers between Los Angeles to Sacramento and was listed as a unique attribute of the city and county for the tour by Fresno Works. As one of the main points in its executive summary, Fresno Works touted the “extensive emergency response and medical services headquartered in Fresno.”

“We are excited the city chose to feature our facilities and impressive care team to the authorities for the high-speed railway project,” said Phyllis Baltz, Community Regional’s chief operating officer. “This demonstrates again the significant resource our regional medical center operations provide to the community and region.”

Community Regional and the Fresno Redevelopment Agency earned state recognition in March for its 15-year partnership which transformed a blighted downtown area into the 58-acre academic regional medical center campus it is today. The project is the largest and longest redevelopment project in Fresno County history.

This story was reported by Rebecca Wass. She can be reached at