News

Stanford Hospital, parents near agreement

Stanford offers to move day care center to appease parents concerned about construction impacts

Stanford University Medical Center has offered to relocate a day care center to another campus site to appease a large group of parents who believe Stanford's hospital-expansion project would threaten their children's health, a spokesperson for the parents said Monday night.

The compromise was announced at Monday's Palo Alto City Council meeting by Laura Pisani, who spoke on behalf of the Arboretum Parent Board. The announcement came a week after a large group of day care parents and children attended a council meeting to complain about Stanford's environmental analysis for its $5 billion hospital expansion.

The group, composed of Stanford University professors and employees, argued that the Environmental Impact Report for the hospital expansion failed to adequately analyze the project's impact on the day care center, which stands next to the proposed location for a parking garage. Parents said they were particularly concerned about the effect of construction-related noise and pollution on their children. To address their concerns, Stanford and the city agreed last week to delay the final vote on the expansion project until the middle of July.

Since then, Pisani said, Stanford officials have met with parents from the day care and have agreed to move the center to another location while construction is happening. Pisani said the parents group is now "optimistic" that a satisfactory solution is emerging.

Stanford Hospital officials have identified a campus location -- a parking lot near the intersection Campus Drive West and Stock Farm Road -- at which they could put in modular buildings to house a temporary day care center. Stanford would need to get a permit from Santa Clara County before it could set up the new day care center.

Sarah Staley, spokesperson for Stanford University Medical Center, said hospital officials had a productive meeting with day care parents on Monday.

Stanford has agreed to delay construction on the new garage until the day care center is relocated, she said. The hospital will, however, proceed with construction inside Hoover Pavilion, Staley said. She said Stanford would put in mitigations to address sound and dust impacts from construction and will consider evening and weekend construction when site work threatens to be disruptive.

The agreement, once finalized, would allow Stanford to proceed with its colossal expansion project, which includes reconstruction of Stanford Hospital & Clinics, an expansion of the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and renovations to various Stanford University School of Medicine buildings. The project is intended to upgrade existing hospital facilities, add beds to the two hospitals and seismically retrofit all the buildings.

Stanford officials said last week that they believe their environmental analysis was adequate and attributed the parents' concerns to inadequate communication between the day care officials and parents. The council approved the expansion on June 6 after 97 public hearings and was scheduled to do a "second reading" of its approval last week -- a largely procedural action.

The second reading is now scheduled for July 11.

Comments

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Posted by hmmm
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2011 at 10:39 am

Well, yesterday when it looked like Stanford was the bad guy, the comments flew fast and furious. Today, when Stanford has done the right thing, no one has anything to say!


Like this comment
Posted by wondering
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 28, 2011 at 10:55 am

I guess people understood my comment - below - and knew they did not want a whole community to turn against them -
"What is so hard to understand in this story is why these parents, all of whom are connected to Stanford, did not realize that they would be reviled if they said anything negative about this revered university. Even if their children are at risk, they should understand that in this area, saying anything that reflects badly on Stanford just cannot be done. One parent who understood is the professor who blamed himself for having failed to realize that the renovation project DID include the ancient Hoover building. He learned that in this place, victims have to blame themselves. Others didn't pick up on that."


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 28, 2011 at 11:07 am

Wondering makes a totally unsupported assertion - "they would be reviled if they said anything negative about this revered university. Even if their children are at risk, they should understand that in this area, saying anything that reflects badly on Stanford just cannot be done".

Any there any facts to support this specious claim?

Stanford took ownership of this problem and has now proposed a solution.
Why keep beating on them?


Like this comment
Posted by wondering
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 28, 2011 at 11:14 am

They're not torn to pieces here?


Like this comment
Posted by svatoid
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 28, 2011 at 11:19 am

I bet you some people are disappointed with this agreement. I am sure the "too much traffic"/"stanford plays dirty" crowd were hoping the the whole project would implode because of this.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 28, 2011 at 11:28 am

Wondering states:"They're not torn to pieces here? " evidently as EVIDENCE that his earlier assertion ""they would be reviled if they said anything negative about this revered university. Even if their children are at risk, they should understand that in this area, saying anything that reflects badly on Stanford just cannot be done" is true.

I see no evidence that anyone who has voiced a concern on this Forum had been "torn to pieces" unless being asked to provide facts to support a specious claim is tearing someone to pieces.


Like this comment
Posted by Marie
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 28, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Marie is a registered user.

I'm happy Stanford has come up with a solution that meets the parents' and children's needs. However, Stanford notified the parents of the exact impact just days before the construction began and did not respond successfully until the parents went public with their concerns, even though the parents were part of the Stanford community. This doesn't make Stanford the evil empire - just neglectful and not stepping up to their responsibilities until they were getting bad PR.

Stanford is an institution like any other that has to be held accountable. Like most others, they do what is best for the institution, which is understandable. However, the rest of us who are from time to time, affected by what Stanford does, must hold them accountable by any means available when it is not in Stanford's best interests (i.e. will cost them more money), and will cause damage to us. That doesn't make either side bad or good - it just reflects how things get done in an open society.

Please remember Stanford did "the right thing" only under the threat of bad publicity and a delay in construction. If they had come up with this solution when the parents first contacted them, then they get kudos. Now, I'm just happy the parents were savvy enough to get Stanford to do "right thing." They deserve more credit than Stanford.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Stanford provide full disclosure to the people who run the day care center months ago; the people who run the day care center decided on their own not to share that information with the parents until very late in the game. Stanford still took ownership of the problem after someone else dropped the ball.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 28, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Peter - perhaps you're missing the info that one of Stanford's own dept's told CCLC *not* to inform parents - it wasn't just CCLC on its own. At least, this was the info earlier reported. This dept., the work-life balance center, is a big resource for Stanford parents & influential in their lives.

I'm glad that an agreement was come to swiftly. While like many, I'm not looking forward to all the traffic & other issues resulting from construction, I understand the many benefits to this expansion.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 28, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Hmmmm states:"perhaps you're missing the info that one of Stanford's own dept's told CCLC *not* to inform parents -"

No, I have researched that assertion and determined that it is factually incorrect. Stanford did NOT tell the CCLC not to inform the parents. CCLC decided on its own to postpone sharing the information that it was given months ago by Stanford.


Like this comment
Posted by wondering
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 29, 2011 at 11:05 am

Looks like nobody can go up against mr. brown act. He finds evidence to prove you wrong--or finds there's no evidence for what you said. He has access, surely, to information that others can't find or don't have time to find.

But speaking of evidence, do we have evidence that there is an agreement? A modular unit in THAT parking lot? I know it well. And the County has agreed or will agree? Maybe he can research that.


Like this comment
Posted by Oops!
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 29, 2011 at 11:57 pm

On June 6th an email announcing the parent meetings about "Stanford Hospital Expansion Project/ Center Impact" was sent, and the parent meetings were June 13, 14, and 15th. A Stanford work-life employee confessed in one of the 3 initial parent meetings at the preschool that she had told the daycare staff not to inform parents of the proximity and extent of the construction until plans were more concrete.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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