SONOMA COUNTY: Two Hospitals Talking Merger
Two of Sonoma County's three largest hospitals, Santa Rosa Memorial and North Coast Health Care Centers, "are talking about becoming partners," the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reports. Memorial is the largest acute care hospital in the county, "with 225 beds and almost 900 employees." Already affiliated with Petaluma Valley Hospital, Memorial "had $185 million in revenues in 1996." North Coast, with 139 beds and 400 employees, is the largest provider of rehabilitation and psychiatric services in the county, and the third largest medical facility overall. It had revenues of $29 million in 1996 and $32 million in 1997. The Press-Democrat notes that North Coast sold 50% of its interest to "Health Plan of the Redwoods three years ago," but "Health Plan of the Redwoods restructured last year, and the two companies parted ways." In looking for another partner, North Coast's CEO Daniel Marrin "found the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, Memorial's corporate owner." While neither organization would release any details of a proposed partnership, Memorial CEO Robert Fish was very optimistic. "We are very excited about this proposed partnership for it brings together two strong and visionary organizations with common values," he wrote in a letter to Memorial employees and the board of trustees. Negotiations and examinations of operations will continue for 60 to 90 days. "If the St. Joseph Health System approves, the affiliation could be made formal in July," the Press-Democrat reports (Lauer, 3/31).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.