SEBASTOPOL: Bond Ballot May Rescue Palm Drive Hospital
Sebastopol's Palm Drive Hospital may be "rescued from closure." Supporters of a west county hospital district secured approval Tuesday from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to get two propositions on the April 11 ballot designed to save the hospital, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports. Sonoma County voters will decide whether to create a new hospital district and whether to fund it with general obligation funds. The financial ballot measure will propose a $5.9 million bond issue to fund the purchase of Palm Drive and its operation. Harry Polley, one of the leaders of the rescue mission, said the project had "many hurdles to overcome," adding, "[T]he people in west Sonoma County said that is was not acceptable to close the hospital and they put their money where their mouth is." The hospital is currently owned by "35 for Palm Drive," a community group that collected enough donations and loans to purchase the facility from Columbia/HCA. If the ballot initiatives are passed, the group would sell the hospital to the directors of the voter-approved West County Health Care District, which would "act as landlord." The district would lease operation of the hospital to the West County Health Care Foundation, headed by Polley. Supporters of the hospital said they are committed to keeping the facility operating with a 24-hour emergency room, acute care beds and a transitional care unit (Rose, 1/12).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.