Supervisor Approves NDA with Medical District Regarding Potential Partner

The board will also take action on the controversial sculpture and appoint a new public health officer.

May 23, San Benito County Supervisors Unanimously Decide He delegated authority to county administrator Ray Espinoza and agreed to sign a confidentiality agreement with the San Benito Medical District that could pave the way for the county to investigate Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital’s financial records.

Sotello, whose husband works at the hospital, said she was free to discuss and vote on the resolution after receiving a letter from the California Commission on Fair Political Practices stating there were no conflicts of interest.

The county’s move to use non-disclosure agreements comes after receiving an update from Cecilia Montalvo, a consultant hired by the county to analyze how to keep the hospital running.

Montalvo was also hired by the Pajaro Valley Health Care District in 2022 to help rebuild a failing medical district. Watsonville Community Hospital After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

She revealed that a potential strategic partner for Hazel Hawkins has been identified, but did not name it.

“We have identified parties who are interested in working with us to see what is possible. That is the nature of the NDA,” she said via Zoom. “We cannot fully disclose the name of that agency because there is some kind of concurrent communication going on. We will be able to get more input on the company and I think Hazel Hawkins will benefit from gaining management expertise in a larger organization.”

According to the regulator’s agenda packet, the NDA would give the county access to all financial records the hospital has shared with prospective buyers and potential strategic partners.

Hazel Hawkins interim CEO Mary Casillas said there are at least 10 candidates, but she didn’t say who they are or how many have turned down partnerships with hospitals.

The reason for obtaining the financial documents, according to the minutes, is so that the county can determine its future course of action should the medical district be unable to find a financial partner.

Montalvo said he believes it is highly unlikely that an outside third party will buy the hospital, given the industry’s weak national performance and this is not a hot period for mergers and acquisitions. Stated.

“My advice, as a county, is to speak with local hospital management we know to see if county representatives can bring one of them to the partnership negotiation table. that’s it,” she said.

Supervisor Bee Gonzales said he understands the rationale for filing for bankruptcy but is hesitant to approve an NDA.

“I don’t want to collude, and I don’t want this board to be complicit in any kind of covert plan that we’re going to carry out on our people,” she said.

Mortalvo said the NDA does not prohibit the release of documents considered public records.

Espinosa added that he expects a joint news release about the partnership to be released next week.

Supervisor Colin Kosmicky said he questioned the hospital’s financial secrecy and valued transparency.

I’m going to be the first to speak up and the NDA is really just a mechanism to start this process,” he said. “If this other potential entity can come forward, the community will be better able to understand why this first step has to be taken.” [of an NDA]”

He added that time is very important to get anything done.

“Given the balance between the delay and the start of this process, a lot can fall apart within a couple of weeks,” Kosmicki said. “This is too good an opportunity to postpone, we need to start.

Resident Robert Vernoski also criticized the medical district board over its handling of the financial emergency and said it was important for the county to get involved to save hospitals and resident jobs.

According to the latest data released by the hospital, it will have 745 employees and 41 active doctors as of 2021.

The hospital board is “too uninvolved and unresponsive in what it’s doing,” Vernosky said. “Either that, or they keep it a secret, but we all know that’s bad public policy. You guys are senior legislative bodies in the county. They’re counting on you, they’re probably counting on you, they just don’t realize it.”

Other actions

Supervisors unanimously approved not to move or destroy the controversial building. granite sculpture Approved up to $2,000 to place a bronze plaque in front of the courthouse to explain its importance.. A task force determined that it would cost as much as $30,000 to move the sculpture to the San Benito County Historical Society building around the city block.

The regulator also approved the appointment of Dr. Cheryl Scott as county public health officer. Scott attended medical school at the University of California, Santa Cruz and Boston, then at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he worked for 20 years, eight of which he was with the California Department of Health.

Other BenitoLink Related Articles:

Health Care District Declares Chapter 9 Bankruptcy | Benitlink

Hazel Hawkins seeks $10 million line of credit | Benitrink

Report: Hazel Hawkins Among 200 Hospitals In State Facing Closure | Benitrink

Hollister Resident Says Hazel Hawkins Hospital Lacks Transparency | Benitrink

Hazel Hawkins withdraws expected closing notice | Benitrink

Hazel Hawkins Has Operating Funds Until ‘End Of Summer’ | Benitrink

Hazel Hawkins Focuses on Finding a Partner | Benitlink

Hazel Hawkins Signs Confidentiality Agreement | Benitrink

Hazel Hawkins Closes Home Health Department | Benitrink

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