GLENDALE — Every nook and cranny of Glendale Adventist Medical Center’s new $108 million patient tower appeared designed for comfort and posterity. Take the ceilings — the tower’s designers have done away with typical recessed fluorescent lights and mounted them instead along the walls, and with good reason. “If you’re on a gurney, what do you see? You see a ceiling,” said Warren Tetz, the hospital’s chief operating officer, during a recent tour of the 190,000-square-foot, nine-story West Tower. “And if you go down and you’re being pushed down a gurney, you’re looking at lights. I don’t know about you but I don’t like looking directly into light sources.” It’s these little touches, coupled with state-of-the-art technology, that hospital officials hope will elevate Glendale Adventist as a regional destination for medical care, built around the themes of “access, growth and family,” Tetz said. “The demand for health care is going to rise rapidly,” he said. “That’s why the growth and the access are important. And family care is especially important in Glendale. … The more the family is involved, the better the ultimate care for the patient.” With the city’s median age rising, more residents are expected to seek medical care at the 457-bed hospital when the tower opens this summer. Glendale’s population is projected to increase to about 221,800 by 2030 from about 205,000 now, according to the Southern California Association of Governments. Meanwhile, the number of residents age 60 and older is expected to increase 20 percent in the next five years. That group currently makes up 70 percent of patients requiring hospital stays, Tetz said. “With these numbers, it doesn’t take long to fill up a 60-bed tower,” he said. Seven stories of the tower will be dedicated to patient care, including a new Emergency Department, cardiac catheterization labs, six new operating rooms and 60 hospital beds. Most of the patient rooms are private and feature pull-out beds for visitors, Internet access and large windows overlooking the 134 Freeway and the city below. The tower also features expanded outpatient imaging and laboratory and cardiac testing areas. “We can get patients in and out quickly without having to work around the normal milieu of the hospital,” Tetz said. The tower is the first phase of a three-part hospital expansion. Phase two includes an inpatient radiology department and an access road through the hospital complex. Two buildings now used as offices — one from 1955 and another from 1974 — will be demolished. The third phase, which has yet to be funded, involves building a second patient tower. “We are very fortunate to have a hospital like Glendale Adventist in our community,” said Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian, whose father served as a staff orthopedic surgeon there. “We’re even more honored and blessed to have them commit millions of dollars to expand and to build their new tower. … It gives us a certain level of prestige among the neighboring communities.” — Eugene Tong, (818) firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!