Construction started July 24 on the new Placer Center for Health, a 66,000-square-foot outpatient facility jointly operated by Catholic Healthcare West, which locally operates Mercy hospitals, and UC Davis Health System.

Located off of Highway 65 in Rocklin's new Orchard Creek Business Park, the new center will bring more physicians, medical technology, and primary and specialty-care services to Lincoln, Rocklin and Roseville in South Placer County, one of the fastest growing areas in California.

UC Davis and Mercy will share the lease on the three-story complex, operating their respective offices to provide primary and specialty-care services, but sharing access to an outpatient pharmacy, clinical laboratory and array of diagnostic imaging services that eventually will include CT, MRI, ultrasound, general X-ray and mammography equipment.

The UC Davis practice ultimately will include 10 to12 primary care physicians and up to five full-time medical specialists, plus their nursing and support staff. Specialties include family practice, pediatrics, internal medicine, cardiology and oncology. It also will include an infusion center with 11 treatment stations, offering cancer patients the convenience of expert cancer care closer to home.

Mercy's physician presence in the Placer Center for Health will be comprised of both Mercy Medical Group doctors as well as independent, Mercy-affiliated physicians.

The facility is expected to open in September 2008.