California Hospital News Roundup for the Week of May 13, 2011
California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco
Employees at three California Pacific Medical Center campuses have voted to leave the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West and join the National Union of Healthcare Workers, according to NUHW, the San Francisco Business Times reports. CPMC is part of the Sutter Health system.
Workers at CPMC's California, Davies and Pacific campuses voted 384 to 237 to join NUHW. Workers at CPMC's St. Luke's campus voted 179 to 88 to keep SEIU-UHW as their union (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 5/11). More than 3,000 workers at eight other Sutter Health hospitals are remaining with SEIU-UHW. Those workers have contracts that expire in December 2012 (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 5/11).
Children's Hospital Los Angeles
On Monday, Children's Hospital Los Angeles announced that it has named its new building the Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion after two long-time supporters, KPCC's "KPCC News" reports.
While serving as a board trustee for the hospital, Marion Anderson worked on a campaign that raised more than $1 billion to help build the new 317-bed facility. Marion and John Anderson also made a $50 million gift to support the new hospital building, which is expected to open in a few months (Moore, "KPCC News," KPCC, 5/9).
Children's Hospital Oakland
On Tuesday, registered nurses returned to work at Children's Hospital Oakland after holding a five-day strike over proposed changes to their health benefits, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The hospital operated at near-normal capacity during the strike, using a staff of nonunion nurses and about 125 temporary replacement nurses.
The 700 union nurses -- represented by the California Nurses Association-National Nurses United -- have been negotiating for a new contract for more than one year. Nurses are concerned about proposed contract changes that would require them to contribute more to their health benefits or deductibles. Nurses and hospital officials say they hope to resume negotiations, but no new talks have been scheduled (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/10).
Mt. Diablo Health Care District, Concord
On Wednesday, Contra Costa County's Local Agency Formation Commission requested more information about the Mt. Diablo Health Care District's activities as it weighs whether the district is an effective use of taxpayer funds, the Contra Costa Times reports.
Kris Hunt -- executive director of the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association -- said the health care district has not served a purpose since 1997, when it gave up control of the then-Mt. Diablo Medical Center.
Roy Larkin -- member of the Mt. Diablo Health Care District's board -- said the district offers CPR training to high school students, provides defibrillators at schools and other sites and issues grants to the community (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 5/11).
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital
Officials at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital have hired Paul Gladfelty -- a lobbyist with Gladfelty Government Relations -- to help SVMH respond to a plannedÂ audit of the hospital's finances, the Salinas Californian reports (Mitchell, Salinas Californian, 5/10).
On Wednesday, the state Joint Legislative Audit Committee approved plans to audit SVMH following reports that the hospital's outgoing CEO Samuel Downing received $3.9 million in supplemental retirement payouts in addition to his $150,000 annual pension (Johnson, Monterey County Herald, 5/12).
SVMH is paying Gladfelty a $25,000 fee to represent the hospital before the Legislature on matters related to the audit. Jim Gattis, SVMH board chair, said the hospital is not guilty of any wrongdoing (Salinas Californian, 5/10).
San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital, Banning
The San Gorgonio Memorial Healthcare District is hiring a bond consulting firm as it considers the construction of a new patient tower, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
Hospital officials estimate that a six-story patient tower would cost about $200 million. Mark Turner, CEO of San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital, said most of those funds likely would come from taxpayers through a possible bond measure. The district is paying the contracting firm Tramutola up to $20,000 to do a preliminary evaluation of a possible bond measure through focus groups and other research methods (Waldner, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 5/6).
Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital
On Wednesday, the Palo Alto Planning and Transportation Commission voted to recommend that the city council certify an environmental impact report for an expansion project at Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The $3.5 billion project would expand the hospitals by 1.3 million square feet and would add 144 new beds at Stanford and 104 new beds at Lucile Packard. The expansion also will include new diagnostic, operating and treatment rooms at both hospitals. The expansion project is scheduled to come before the Palo Alto city council for final approval on June 6 (Samuels, San Jose Mercury News, 5/11).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.