California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of January 27, 2012
Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, Colton
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors has approved an agreement that will allow the county to allocate $312,179 for new safety equipment, medical devices and training at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The funds -- which will come from the county's Emergency Medical Services Pediatric Trauma Fund -- will allow ARMC to purchase hand-held ultrasound machines for pediatric patients with abdominal injuries, specialized ventilators, lung function testing devices and training equipment for pediatric trauma care (Riverside Press-Enterprise , 1/20).
Doctors Medical Center, San Pablo
Doctors Medical Center has received an $8 million revolving line of credit from Gemino Healthcare Finance, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
Dawn Gideon -- interim president and CEO of Doctors Medical Center -- said the funds will help the hospital carry out its financial recovery plan. In a statement, Gemino said the medical center will use the funds for "working capital purposes" (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 1/20).
Loma Linda University Medical Center
Loma Linda University Medical Center has received a $1 million donation from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The donation is the second of three installments in the tribe's $3 million gift to support cancer care and research at Loma Linda University Cancer Center. To recognize the donation, Loma Linda University Medical Center is renaming its Medical Oncology Center and Biospecimen Laboratory as the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Medical Oncology Center and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Biospecimen Laboratory (Riverside Press-Enterprise , 1/20).
Metropolitan State Hospital, Norwalk; Napa State Hospital
On Monday, the office of State Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) filed documents opposing an extension of federal oversight at Metropolitan State Hospital and Napa State Hospital, the Los Angeles Times reports.
On Feb. 13, U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins will hold a hearing on whether to indefinitely extend portions of a 2006 consent judgment that imposed federal oversight of the hospitals.
In the recent filing, California Deputy Attorney General George Prince said that the hospitals have achieved "substantial compliance" with federal regulations and that only a few deficiencies remain. In addition, officials at both hospitals said they are working to minimize lapses in nursing care and address issues that made patients more vulnerable to harming themselves and others (Romney, Los Angeles Times, 1/24).
Natividad Medical Center, Salinas
Natividad Medical Center in Salinas has launched a program to train low-income women to become medical interpreters for patients who speak indigenous languages from the Oaxacan area of Mexico, HealthyCal reports.
The Community Foundation for Monterey County's Women's Fund awarded a $25,000 grant to the Natividad Medical Foundation to help the women participate in a six-month medical interpretation internship at the hospital. After the women complete the training program, the hospital plans to hire them as part-time interpreters or consultants (Flores, HealthyCal, 1/23).
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital
Medical benefits will stay the same under the contract, which includes a 1.75% pay raise for workers (KSBW, 1/26).
UC-San Diego Health System
UC-San Diego Health System is purchasing the Las Vegas-based Nevada Cancer Institute for $18 million, U-T San Diego reports.
The Nevada Cancer Institute faced $100 million in debt in spring 2011, prompting it to lay off half of its 300 employees. The institute then filed for bankruptcy in December 2011. UCSD is buying the institute's name, its 142,000 square-foot flagship building, its medical practice and 24 ongoing clinical trials. The institute's remaining employees will join the university.
Thomas McAfee -- interim chief executive for UCSD Health System -- said that the purchase will be made using cash reserves, adding that "no state or taxpayer money will be used." Â The sale is expected to be finalized within the next four weeks (Lavelle, U-T San Diego, 1/23).
Ventura County Medical Center
Construction workers and labor officials have asked the Ventura County Board of Supervisors to pursue a project labor agreement that would promote local hiring for a $250 million construction project at Ventura County Medical Center, the Ventura County Star reports.
The deal would ensure that large numbers of Ventura County residents would be hired for the project, which aims to bring the hospital into compliance with state seismic safety requirements. However, some county officials and local business leaders said such a deal could increase the cost of the project by as much as 5%.
The board has asked county managers to explore the proposed labor agreement and deliver a report on their findings in four weeks (Wilson, Ventura County Star, 1/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.