SONOMA COUNTY: Community Group to Take Control of Palm Drive Hospital
Two community groups working in "tandem" to purchase Sebastopol's Palm Drive Hospital from Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. so it won't be shuttered will likely "assume control" of the facility next week. A group of investors called "35 for Palm Drive" has reached its goal of raising $3 million to buy the hospital and will lease the hospital -- free of charge for now -- to the West County Healthcare Foundation, which will run the facility. After six months, the foundation, which has raised $800,000 and plans to raise a total of $1.2 million, will start paying a "nominal fee" for the next two and a half years. The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reports that investors hope to "recoup" their share after three years and completely turn the hospital over to the foundation. Under the direction of the foundation, the hospital will house fewer acute-care beds, have a new emphasis on outpatient services and shift some employees to new positions. "The goal is to operate the hospital at substantially the same level of services as it offers now," said foundation spokesperson Judy Farrell. She noted, however, that fundraising is not complete and "[w]e've still got bills to pay" (Lauer, 2/24).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.