California Healthline Highlights Recent Hospital News
Several hundred employees of Atascadero State Hospital on Wednesday met to voice concerns about staffing levels and work conditions at the facility, the Los Angeles Times reports. Representatives of area state legislators attended the meeting, which was organized by a grass roots group.
In related news, officials from Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk on Friday are scheduled to meet with representatives from the California Association of Psychiatric Technicians. The union picketed at the hospital on Wednesday to protest mandatory overtime shifts (Romney, Los Angeles Times, 1/26).
More than 20% of staff at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center has been fired or disciplined since January 2004 in an "extraordinary crackdown" on employee misconduct, according to a Los Angeles Times review of county Civil Service Commission records. Since Jan. 26, 2004, King/Drew has disciplined 524 of its approximately 2,500 employees, with two-thirds of the disciplines reported in 2005.
Since 2004, 199 staff members have been fired or resigned while under investigation. The other disciplined employees received suspensions or reprimands and warnings. Nearly all appeals of disciplinary action taken by the hospital are pending (Weber/Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 1/23).
Mills-Peninsula Health Services is trying to raise as much as $75 million in donations to fund construction of a new Peninsula Medical Center, MPHS CEO Robert Merwin said, the San Francisco Examiner reports. According to Merwin, the hospital is expected to cost about $2 million per bed.
Construction will be paid for with existing reserves and new debt. The fundraising effort seeks to raise enough money to cover about 17% of the project's costs, or $50 million to $75 million.
The plan still needs approval from the Office of Statewide Planning and Health Development, which takes about one year (Dempsey, San Francisco Examiner, 1/27).
The scheduled reopening of Santa Paula Memorial Hospital this month has been delayed because of unforeseen problems at the facility, such as the discovery of more asbestos and lead paint than was anticipated, according to project leader Sam Edwards, the Ventura County Star reports.
SPMH closed and declared bankruptcy in 2004; the Ventura County Health Care Agency is planning to reopen it as part of Ventura County Medical Center.
Edwards said he hopes to reopen the hospital in April (Biasotti, Ventura County Star, 1/24).
The Grossmont Healthcare District board voted unanimously for a resolution to extend Sharp HealthCare's lease to run Sharp Grossmont Hospital for an additional 30 years to 2051, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The corporate board is expected to vote on a similar resolution on Feb. 21. The lease extension then must be approved by a majority of voters in the East San Diego County health care district.
According to district CEO Barry Jantz, Sharp's corporate board is expected to approve the offer, making it more likely that the board will seek a bond measure to pay for the seismic retrofit of the facility.
The district board must decide whether to seek the bond measure by March 10 to include it on the June ballot (Krueger, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/21).
The Temecula City Council on Wednesday voted 4-0 to approve plans to build a hospital, saying the need for a hospital in the area outweighs community concerns about issues including traffic, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The proposal, by Universal Health Services, was approved with a few modifications intended to reduce traffic, noise and lighting impacts on homes (O'Leary, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 1/26).