DOWNEY COMMUNITY HOSPITAL: City Council Can Attend Board Meetings
In a new twist in the continuing debate over management of Downey Community Hospital, the Downey Community Hospital Foundation Board announced unexpectedly Tuesday that city council members will now be allowed to attend entire board meetings, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports. Previously, city council members were required to leave meetings during discussions of "personnel, legal and some financial issues." This concerned some residents who feared that "Downey Community Hospital might not continue to provide quality health care and remain financially solvent."
While city officials said the hospital is "financially sound," they "pledged their continued watchfulness." District Councilman Bob Brazelton said, "There is more progress to be made, but this is a good first step. The ideal is that if we have differences we can jawbone about them and work out some arrangement that will be mutually satisfactory." In addition, Downey City Manager Gerald Caton has hired attorney Kathleen Drummy "to help officials understand hospital management." Caton said, "This whole issue of how to properly run a nonprofit hospital has become very complicated. ... You have to have knowledge of the system" (Douglas, 2/18).