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SVMHS To Hold Town Hall Meeting

Open forum and discussion on the future direction of SVMH

What: Town Hall Meeting

When: Thursday, October 13, 2011, 6:30pm

Where: National Steinbeck Center

Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System will hold a “town hall” meeting on October 13, 6:30 p.m. at the National Steinbeck Center. “In order to ensure the high-quality care that people have come to expect from Salinas Valley Memorial, we are exploring several options for our future,” said Lowell Johnson, MBA, FACHE, Interim President/CEO. “The focus of the meeting is to look at the factors that led to the current status of SVMHS, and seek feedback and input from the people of our hospital District about our options for the future.”

According to a survey by the American Hospital Association, patients continue to delay or forego care, as family budgets remain tight. Seventy percent of hospitals across the country reported lower overall patient volumes and 72 percent reported fewer elective procedures. Also, financial challenges faced by patients have resulted in a significant increase in government-sponsored programs such as Medi-Cal and Medicare. These programs pay hospitals less than half of what it costs to treat a patient, and more people enrolled in these programs means an additional financial strain on hospitals. Nearly nine in 10 hospitals report an increase in care for which the hospital received no payment at all. At Salinas Valley Memorial, our charity care has increased dramatically—from a budgeted $2 million per year to more than $15 million in the 2009-10 fiscalyear.

Additional financial challenges have been presented in meeting the State’s seismic safety requirements. Salinas Valley Memorial has had to spend more than $42 million meeting this unfunded state mandate. These upgrades are only effective through 2030 under current California law and SVMH will have to eventually build a new hospital building.

Salinas Valley Memorial is adapting to the new economic realities of healthcare, while continuing to advance leading edge quality care. “Our Healthcare System has a history of strong financial stewardship,” said Jim Gattis, President of the SVMHS Board of Directors. “Hospital leadership, medical staff, employees and volunteers have worked hard over the past year to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, while maintaining quality and value for our patients. Through a Performance Excellence initiative, SVMHS has realized significant savings. These steps will help ensure affordable healthcare for the community, as well as immediate and sustainable performance excellence without compromise of quality or satisfaction."

The Salinas Valley Memorial Board of Directors oversees all activities of the hospital. Its most important responsibility is to provide strategic direction and vision for the hospital in 2012 and well into the future. The Board recently called on industry planning experts whostudied SVMH and recommended considering closer alignment with other healthcare providers to best serve the region. The Board has unanimously expressed a preference to remain independent if that is feasible and in the best interest of the community. However, it is considering several options, including possible affiliation with another organization.

Discussion at the public town hall meeting will go into more detail on these topics and ways SVMH can best continue to offer the high-quality patient care the people of the District have come to expect.

The Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System we know today started out in 1953 as a 52-bed hospital. Since then we have grown to servethousands of people in communities in the Central Coast area, from our hospital campus and through a network of affiliates. SVMHS now houses state-of-the-art specializations including the Heart Center opened in 1987, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Joint Replacement Center and Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, as well as advanced imaging and diagnostic tools. We are committed to providing the highest quality healthcare services for people who are ill or injured and to helping people live healthier lives through prevention and education efforts.


Download the Town Hall Meeting Presentation


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