Dr. Alan Sue at the hospital
READY TO OPEN - Dr. Alan Sue, Sutter Ambulatory Care and Surgery Center’s medical director, says the new hospital is designed to make the treatment process better for patients. (Drew Penner / Los Gatan)

When you walk through the automatic doors into the new 69,000-square-foot three-story Palo Alto Medical Foundation hospital on the edge of Los Gatos, you’re greeted by a cylindrical sculpture by Albert Dicruttalo called “Unity” and a mixed-media painting by Ivy Jacobs titled “150 Shades of Green.”

On Tuesday, cleaners power-washed the driveway and squeegeed the windows, in preparation for the hospital to spring to life, starting with the third floor, on July 24.

PAMF, a division of Sutter Health, says the specialty-care facility, officially named the “Sutter Health Ambulatory Care and Surgery Center at Samaritan Court,” will allow it to provide better care to patients, and in a more efficient manner.

Here’s why:

The health care corporation is centralizing more than 30 physicians into one building while inviting two new doctors into the fold. And it’s not planning to close any other locations as a result.

operating room
The Sutter Ambulatory Care and Surgery Center will begin treating patients on Monday. (Drew Penner / Los Gatan)

Having so many different disciplines under the same roof means you no longer have to send patients across town for additional treatment, at least in many situations.

“I’m a podiatrist,” said the facility’s medical director, Dr. Alan Sue, thinking ahead to a case when a patient might need to be seen by an orthopedic surgeon. “Sometimes what I’ll do is say, ‘They have a hand doctor right here.’”

While this may sound like a minor factor, the benefits of having everything from gynecology to gastroenterology to pediatrics to pulmonary medicine at the same spot are expected to compound over time for the medical group.

soft tones in the hallway
Soft, bright tones in the hallway. (Drew Penner / Los Gatan)

And when patients from Morgan Hill and Gilroy don’t have to worry about studying rush hour patterns for multiple different facilities, it makes life easier for them, too, says Sue.

“It allows patients to feel more calm about the treatment,” he said.

For Sue, who’s been working at the 9,730-square-foot PAMF clinic at 15720 Winchester Blvd., it means his lab tests can now be processed in-house, and he doesn’t have to drive back after finishing a surgery at a different hospital.

“I don’t have to worry about the traffic on the 85,” he said. “I can literally just walk upstairs.”

The new hospital has three operating rooms and three procedure suites for gastrointestinal doctors. It’s also equipped to do total joint replacements and has an area dedicated to caring for people with casts.

The room setups were designed in consultation with doctors.

There will be two OBGYNs with offices at the hospital, meaning they can look after pregnant patients at the facility ahead of time, and when the baby arrives, pop next door to Good Samaritan Hospital for the delivery.

second floor front desk
The second-floor front desk area will soon be a bustling hive of activity. (Drew Penner / Los Gatan)

The facility is not for the general public, as there’s no emergency room and you’d need one of the doctors listed as part of your medical insurance “panel” to end up here, a Sutter Health spokesperson explained.

It has a buoyant atmosphere, thanks to narrow hall lights providing a sense of flow, ample windows to allow sunshine in, and a bright, but soft, color palette spread across the walls.

“When we developed the building, we wanted to make sure we had a nice calming, almost Zen, feel,” Sue said. “That’s why we picked warm tones. You can see lighter colors of either greens or some blues there.”

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Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected].


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