San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

CIMA Hospital Celebrates 5th Anniversary

THE Center for InternationalMedicine (CIMA) Hospital in Escazú, awestern San José suburb, offered a weekof special events for employees and formerpatients to celebrate the private facility’sfifth anniversary – and its recentquality accreditation by the Ministry ofPublic Health.CIMA is the first hospital in Costa Ricato receive the ministry’s seal of approvalthrough a lengthy certification processestablished in 1999, Alfonso Chapa, thehospital’s general director, told The TicoTimes Wednesday. While all hospitals mustreceive a basic license from the ministry tooperate, the quality accreditation “goesabove and beyond,” he said.Chapa spoke with pride about the waythe hospital has grown during its fiveyears of operation. It boasts Costa Rica’sonly licensed helipad, which receives 8-9landings per year, mostly from the northwesternprovince of Guanacaste; a medicaloffice building with 99 suites and 180physicians representing 40 different specialties;and 54 inpatient beds, with roomfor a total of 110.A second building with an additional150 offices is planned, and negotiations tobuild a comprehensive oncology centeron the third floor are under way.The hospital is operated by theInternational Hospital Corporation (IHC),headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and affiliatedwith the Baylor University MedicalCenter there. Two other CIMA hospitalsare operating in Mexico and Brazil.“People are usually more confident tocome here,” said pediatrician ArielSimons, who cited low staff turnover,excellent training and short wait times asfactors that encourage patient loyalty.The week’s celebratory events includedan ice cream social for the staff, aparty for the approximately 50 childrenborn at CIMA during its first year ofoperation, a helicopter landing and mockpatient transfer to demonstrate the use ofthe helipad, and a visit from Baylor headJoel Allison.Richard Feldman, director of operationsfor the hospital, said CIMA plans toopen the first private psychiatric facilityin Central America on April 1.

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