UCSF STANFORD: Former Parent Company Makes Offer to Keep Mt. Zion Afloat
The Mount Zion Health Fund, former parent company of Mt. Zion Hospital has offered $5 million to keep the facility from closing its emergency and intensive care units. The fund, which still "operates about $50 million in endowments that were earmarked for Mt. Zion before it was merged with UC-San Francisco in 1990, made the offer July 8 to UCSF Stanford Health Care, which would keep the units open through the end of 2001. Ann Lazarus, the fund's CEO, said, "We're saying, in essence, that we feel (the vote to close part of the hospital) is a precipitous decision, and we would like to see it postponed for a significant amount of time so that some strategic planning can take place." The San Francisco Examiner reports she has not yet received a response.
Just Hold On a Minute
Meanwhile, the Mount Zion Board of Trustees and "an ad hoc committee of physicians" also suggested postponing the closures for 18 months, arguing that the move will not save "nearly as much money as administrators predict." Further, the National Cancer Institute is scheduled to open a "lucrative" cancer center at Mt. Zion in April. Some fear that the NCI "designation could be jeopardized if the hospital's intensive care unit and emergency room are no longer available on site to treat cancer patients who may develop serious complications while undergoing chemotherapy." Laurel Hodgson, director of Mt. Zion's emergency department, said, "We are skeptical of the figures in some of the assumptions that the administration has used, and we feel our proposal is more measured, makes more sense and is more prudent" (Torassa, 7/20).