HEART CARE: St. Mary and Long Beach Community to Merge?
A steering committee of doctors will recommend that St. Mary and Long Beach Community hospitals consolidate their heart care facilities, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports. According to committee member Dr. Mike Vasilomanolakis, the committee advocates moving all heart surgery to Long Beach Community, as Community is "more advanced than St. Mary in cardiology and heart surgery," and has a connection with the East Long Beach area. In addition, he noted that a patient poll indicated that area residents "would rather go to [Community] than to St. Mary for heart care because they are afraid of St. Mary's neighborhood." Vasilomanolakis expressed some dismay in the recommendation, stating that he and other doctors "felt the process had been biased toward moving heart services to St. Mary." Thomas Hennessy, president of both hospitals, said, "This is certainly not the end -- it is just the beginning of the decision making process" (Lowe, 10/13).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.