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Alameda Hospital Looks to Alameda Health System for Survival

Alameda Hospital will explore an affiliation with the Alameda Health System - its survival may depend on it. Google Street View)

Alameda Hospital will explore an affiliation with the Alameda Health System – its survival may depend on it. Google Street View)

At a special board meeting on Monday evening, the Alameda Health Care District will consider a proposal to explore an affiliation between Alameda Hospital and the Alameda Health System. The hospital’s very survival may depend on it.

The Hospital has been on life support for the last three years or so, freezing or reducing employee wages and slowing down vendor payments.

A $300/year parcel tax on Alameda properties that provides about $7 million is not enough – according to the staff report for Monday’s meeting, the employee and vendor strategies, combined with new specialty programs, like the Bay Area Bone and Joint Center, are “not sustainable or fair to our employees and vendors over the long term.”

The board resolution on the table Monday evening which authorizes Alameda Hospital CEO Deborah Stebbins to explore the affiliation acknowledges that, “the current financial state [of Alameda Hospital] is unsustainable without an organizational partner.”

Hospital officials have been in discussion with their counterparts at the Alameda County Medical Center – now Alameda Health System – since late 2012. Those discussions have produced a letter of intent proposed by Alameda Health System that would, among other things, delegate management control and governance of Alameda Hospital to Alameda Health System. The transfer would happen by the end of this year.

The existing parcel tax, approved by voters in 2002, and sold as necessary to keep the hospital afloat, would remain in place under any agreement, and would be dedicated to the operation of Alameda Hospital.

Alameda Hospital officials also hope that the arrangement will provide funding for seismic repair of the hospital building itself.

Highland Hospital in Oakland, Fairmont Hospital and John George Psychiatric Hospital in San Leandro are current long-time affiliates of the public Alameda Health System.

Eliott Gorelick, who recently resigned from the Health Care District board, told Action Alameda News, “Such a fundamental change in the structure and function of the District should have the maximum level of input – meaning a public vote. My understanding is that this is currently not part of the plan.”

The special meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. this Monday, June 17th, at Alameda Hospital, in the Del Cielo Conference Room.

3 comments to Alameda Hospital Looks to Alameda Health System for Survival

  • cg

    Be very careful with the terms. There is no “Alameda Health Care System”. There was an Alameda Health Care District. The “Care” has been removed. It’s now AHD. What should be called the Alameda County Health System, has had the word “county” removed. Its now AHS [like the high school]. Your headline would have been more accurate to say “Alameda Hospital joins County Hospital System”.

  • Alameda Hospital is governed by the City of Alameda Health Care District.

    On April 9, 2002, the voters of Alameda approved the formation of the City of Alameda Health Care District. The passage of this health care district initiative allows Alameda Hospital to continue to provide you and your family with quality and personalized health care, close to home.

    They are pursuing an affiliation with Alameda Health System, formerly known as Alameda County Medical Center. (Not to be confused with the Kaiser Alameda Medical Center.)

    Alameda Health System

    In the 1990s, Alameda County Medical Center was formed as the result of consolidation among Fairmont Hospital, Highland Hospital, John George Psychiatric Pavilion and the community Wellness Centers. Authority over the Medical Center passed from Alameda County Supervisors in 1998 to an independent Board of Trustees.

    Now structured as a Public Health Authority, Alameda Health System has the strength and responsibility to build relationships, and forge partnerships with government and community organizations to ensure better access to quality care for every resident of Alameda County.

  • cg

    I attended that meeting. As I surmised, there’s been a deliberate effort to remove the term “County” [and its accompanying stigma] & to use the word “Alameda” to garner respect. I don’t expect residents from Pleasanton, Livermore, & Fremont to start beating on our doors any time soon.