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    Simi Valley hospital architect targeted by Ventura County (Part II)

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    By Michael Hernandez

    (Editor’s Note:  This is the second of a four-part series on a Simi Valley man—Wayne Fishback—targeted by Ventura County.  Superior Court Judge Jeffery G. Bennett has set another hearing for Fishback in Courtroom 21 on Thursday, March 12 at 9 a.m.  The first story in the series:  “Simi Valley environmentalist targeted by Ventura County.  See link at:

    SIMI VALLEY—Who is Wayne Fishback?  Why is he in jail?

    Wayne Fishback, 75 year-old Simi Valley hospital architect, is locked up indefinitely by Ventura Superior Court Judge Jeffery G. Bennett for “coercive civil” contempt to the Court for his failure to comply with a $21.7 million judgment against him issued in a December, 2014 trial by Ventura County Superior Court Judge Kent M. Kellegrew.

    Why is Wayne Fishback, a Simi Hills hospital architect, facility planner and designer, Ventura County’s “most targeted man?”   Ventura County claims that Fishback is operating an “illegal dump” for grading and leveling off parts of his private property without obtaining the necessary permits for operating what they call an “illegal dump.”

    Fishback, claims he has spent nearly $5 million dollars in legal and engineering fees to prove his innocence; no longer can pay for legal counsel; has been refused a public defender; and is homeless—that is before receiving the comforts of a jail cell.

    Who is Wayne Fishback?  Hospital Architect

    At 17 years-old, Fishback went to work for a general contractor in 1962 and one year later he entered the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois, Chicago.   At 25, he designed his first hospital.  

    “I think the single most important thing in hospital design is planning for growth…find a design vocabulary…that can be extended as hospitals’ needs change in the future…designing a new hospital today is so complex, it’s really like designing a small city,” said Fishback.

    In 1979, Fishback was invited to speak at a city planning symposium sponsored by Chicago Mayor Jane Byrant and Mt. Sinai Medical Center.  “By that time my projects were designed to intersect and enhance the larger urban context.  I believed that mega scale projects could trigger additional development and city revitalization.  I called these ‘catalyst projects.’   The speech I gave at the symposium appeared in a Sunday special section of the Chicago Tribune and, 30 years before such topics were given any relevance, I reference many of today’s urban planning issues and project priorities.”

    Fishback’s resume includes healthcare architecture with five international projects (which includes the Tseung Kwan “O” Hospital, an acute general hospital with 458 beds in Hong Kong with towers to a maximum 10 stories high) and 51 U.S. projects including the following five projects in California: Bakersfield Memorial Hospital; City of Hope National Medical Center; Palmdale Replacement Hospital; San Bernardino County Medical Center; and Stanford University Psychiatry Clinic.

    Possibly Fishback’s most acclaimed article co-authored with Alan Shubin, of TPG, Inc., Rolling Hills Estates, the former CFO of the City of Hope National Medical Center (Duarte) was written in 2010 and published by The Academy Journal in August, 2011. It is titled:  “Right Sizing Hospitals for the New Millennium.”   Fishback has been published in 18 publications and has won eight awards and honors throughout his career.

    Who is Wayne Fishback?  Design Projects and Facility Planner

    Wayne Fishback is registered as an architect in seven states and holds a National Council of Architectural Registration Board Certificate.  With over 40 years of experience as an architect, Wayne Fishback’s primary focus since the mid-seventies has been large firm management and providing leadership to facility planning and design projects.

    At 29, he was made a senior partner at Schmidt, Garden and Erikson in Chicago.  Within two years, Fishback was named Partner in Charge of Design at this 400-person, 80-year-old firm which resulted in numerous design awards and publications of the firm’s work.

    Wayne Fishback has successfully practiced architecture and managed offices in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and Hong Kong with projects in 22 states and 11 countries.

    Until 1994, Fishback was a Principal with B.T.A. Architects and Planners in Los Angeles.   While there, he was responsible for major U.S. clients such as Stanford University and City of Hope National Cancer Center in Duarte along with all of the firm’s work in Asia.  The Asia work was performed in the Hong Kong office that Fishback directed as Chief Executive Officer.

    Prior to B.T.A., Fishback was the office director of Ellerbe Becket’s New York City office.  In addition, he served on the Board of Directors of this 1,000-person firm which, at the time, was ranked the largest architecture and engineering organization in the U.S.  During his tenure at Ellerbe Becket, Fishback served as Principal in Charge of the Kings County Hospital replacement facility with a project budget of one billion dollars and 2.5 million square feet which made it the largest project ever designed in the United States.

    Under Fishback’s direction, a talented design staff was assembled that received more New York City American Institute of Architects (AIA) design awards than any other firm in New York over a five-year period.  During this time, the office also won several international design competitions and was extensively published, including a book on the New York City office’s work.

    Fishback has provided consulting services to healthcare organizations in Southeast Asia including Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Australia.  In particular, he has served as the lead planner for three new hospitals developed by the Hong Kong Hospital Authority.

    The planning and design work for the Hong Kong Hospital Authority utilized a custom software system developed by Fishback for the Hospital Authority.  The software system and design work led to numerous publications including two papers by Fishback which were published by the American Institute of Architects.

    Does Wayne Fishback sound like someone who is breaking the law or a world renown hospital, healthcare architect and design planner?   Fishback is the expert not Ventura County—which is not concerned about hospitals, healthcare architecture or design planning.

    Ventura County instead of feting Fishback has ruled that Wayne Fishback belongs in jail indefinitely for his “supposed violations” against the county. Who is the “real” expert?

    Hong Kong’s Tseung Kwan “O” Hospital, a 458 bed acute general hospital

    (Editor’s Note:  To read the Citizens Journal story on the March 6th Ventura County Superior Court hearing that sent Wayne Fishback to jail go to:


    Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He has worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].

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