Glenn County Residents Support Tax for Local Hospital, According to Survey
According to a telephone survey, 62% of Glenn County and northern Colusa County residents would support an additional local property tax to help finance Glenn Medical Center, Glenn County Supervisor Denny Bungarz said, the Chico Enterprise-Record reports. The survey, which was paid for by a grant and conducted by the Program for Applied Research and Evaluation at Chico State University, polled 403 residents in May and June. According to Bungarz, 79.2% of respondents said that having a hospital in Glenn County is important. The survey also found that 50% of respondents said that they were very satisfied with medical services at Glenn Medical Center, 39.4% said that they were somewhat satisfied, 7.5% said that they were somewhat dissatisfied and 3.1% said that they were very dissatisfied. The Glenn County Board of Supervisors received a 25-page report on the survey; the report will be used by a committee that is working on ways to make the Glenn Medical Center financially sound. According to the Enterprise-Record, the committee must determine whether to form an entity with taxing power, a county service area or a hospital district to support the hospital. Bungarz said that there could be support for such plans but added that two-thirds of voters likely would have to approve the plan.
The survey was commissioned in response to an announcement by officials for Chico-based Enloe Medical Center, which runs Glenn Medical Center, that Enloe has lost "hundreds of thousands of dollars" since taking over management of Glenn Medical in 1995, the Enterprise-Record reports. Early last year, Enloe announced plans to close the emergency room and eliminate inpatient services at Glenn Medical Center, but Enloe abandoned the plan after public protests and the threat of a lawsuit from Glenn County supervisors. Glenn County supervisors and Enloe then signed an agreement that gave hospital consultant William Casey an 18-month contract -- paid by Enloe -- to manage Glenn Medical. According to the agreement, if Casey can make Glenn Medical Center solvent, Enloe's 50-year lease to operate the hospital could be transferred to his company or another party pending Glenn County Board of Supervisors' approval (Mitchell, Chico Enterprise-Record, 8/5).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.