El Centro Regional Medical Center will receive $500,000 to build its heliport.
President George W. Bush signed a $6.5 billion supplemental spending bill on Tuesday that addresses shortfalls in the Department of Defense, provides emergency assistance to communities impacted by natural disasters and provides relief to consumers affected by high energy costs.
The money for the local city-owned hospital comes from $1 million appropriated for seismic retrofitting at the now defunct Scripps Memorial East Hospital in El Cajon. The money remained unused and was diverted by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, to two other hospitals as part of the appropriations bill.
The other hospital is Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa.
"With the closing of Scripps Memorial in El Cajon last year, health-care facilities in our area have been forced to absorb additional patients with limited resources," Hunter said in a statement. "These federal funds will be allocated for retrofitting requirements, providing these hospitals with the flexibility to use their remaining budget in a manner that will best provide emergency care to those in our community."