California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of June 3, 2011
Antelope Valley Hospital, Lancaster
UnitedHealth Group has purchased $8.6 million in Antelope Valley Healthcare District's tax-exempt revenue bonds to help the district finance capital projects at Antelope Valley Hospital, the Los Angeles Business reports.
The investment is part of UnitedHealth's California Health Care Investment Program, a 20-year, $200 million initiative to help health care organizations provide services to low-income and underinsured populations. The district plans to use the funds for several projects at Antelope Valley Hospital, including an expansion of MRI and CT services, the construction of a new cardiac catheterization lab and a renovation of its outpatient blood drawing center (Los Angeles Business, 5/31).
Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles
Good Samaritan Hospital has received a $2.3 million grant that will help fund programs focused on diabetes, heart disease and women's health, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
Attorney Henry Rossbacher made the grant available as a result of a class-action lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company. If payments from a class-action suit cannot be distributed to all affected parties, state law allows the funds to be donated to charities.
The grant will support Good Samaritan's inpatient and community diabetes education program, a community clinic for underserved populations and women's heart health conferences (Los Angeles Daily News, 6/1).
Saint John's Health Center, Santa Monica
The California Nurses Association recently won an election to represent about 500 nurses at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, Payers & Providers reports.
The nurses voted 269 to 149 in favor of membership with CNA, which has attempted to represent nurses at the 268-bed hospital for several years. Saint John's is a member of the Sisters of Charity Leavenworth Health System (Payers & Providers, 6/2).
Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Palo Alto
Stanford University plans to increase the amount it is offering to Palo Alto in an effort to secure the city's approval for a $3 billion hospital construction project, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reports.
Mike Peterson -- vice president of special projects for Stanford Hospital & Clinics -- said the new offer would guarantee the city $8.1 million in "use and sales" taxes from the purchase of construction-related materials. In addition, Stanford has agreed to increase its upfront payment to Palo Alto from $1.1 million to $2.4 million.
The university plans to present its proposal to the city on June 6. Â The planned construction project calls for the rebuilding of Stanford Hospital & Clinics as well as the modernization and expansion of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. If approved, the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017 (Azevedo, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, 5/27).
St. John's Pleasant Valley Hospital, Camarillo
Officials at St. John's Pleasant Valley Hospital say they are optimistic that the hospital could receive a two-year extension of state seismic safety deadlines, which could delay the temporary closure of its long-term subacute care unit, the Ventura County Star reports.
To meet seismic safety mandates, St. John's plans to retrofit the building that currently houses the subacute care unit and convert it into a traditional hospital. The subacute care unit then would be reopened in the current hospital building. If St. John's qualifies for a two-year extension of its seismic safety deadline, it could push back the temporary closure of the subacute care unit until the end of 2012 (Kisken, Ventura County Star, 5/28).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.