Ballot measure this election for voters to approve purchase of hospital
Healdsburg, CA – North Sonoma County Healthcare District (NSCHD) is pleased to announce
it has taken the next step and agreed to terms with NorCal HealthConnect,
LLC, a secular affiliate of Providence St. Joseph Health, to purchase
Healdsburg District Hospital.
In accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed in March,
the parties have participated in numerous discussions refining the details
of a resolution that was adopted by the NSCHD Board this week. The resolution
formalizes a purchase of the District hospital and associated clinic assets,
includes assurance of seismic compliance, and guarantees continuation
of existing District services far into the future.
“Our Partnership Committee and Board of Directors have worked hard
to craft a fair and comprehensive agreement, and to finalize what has
been a multi-year conversation with Providence St. Joseph Health. This
agreement offers the community the security of preserving the hospital’s
essential departments and continuing the century-long history it has of
serving the community,” said Healdsburg District Hospital’s
Chief Executive Officer, James P. Schuessler.
According to NSCHD Board Chair, Erin Gore, “The NSCHD board believes
that this purchase will provide the best assurance that the residents
of the District will receive continued, long-term access to acute care
hospital services, including the 24/7 emergency room. A larger network
can bring additional value into our District by expanding access to comprehensive
services and implementing Community Benefit initiatives and programs to
address our community’s needs.”
“We are excited that the parties have come to terms on the purchase
of Healdsburg District Hospital,” said Kevin Klockenga, Regional
Chief Executive for Providence St. Joseph Health, Northern California.
“This partnership would ensure that North Sonoma County continues
to have access to a Critical Access Hospital to serve its community members.”
The next milestones are finalizing the purchase agreement and seeking
voter approval in November. The ballot measure for the proposed agreement
will not require additional taxes from the District. If approved, the
closing date will be on or before December 31, 2020.
“Our expectation is that voters will support this initiative to ensure
availability of the quality health care they will need well into the future,”
said Schuessler. “This agreement will put the hospital on solid
financial footing, reducing the uncertainty that small hospitals face
in today’s unstable economic environment.”
Voters can familiarize themselves with this agreement in the coming months
as they prepare to make their decision in the upcoming election. Board
minutes are located on the hospital’s website:
www.HealdsburgHospital.org. The District will hold three public forums in August to further discuss
the transaction and answer questions.
Between the closing date and the effective date, the parties will enter
into a transition period with a management services agreement to maintain
District operation of the hospital and its clinics without interruption.
Active employees will have their wages and benefits maintained, with no
benefit adjustments for at least 12 months after the closing.
In addition, the hospital will continue to operate as a Medicare-designated
Critical Access Hospital (“CAH”) for at least 30 years and
maintain a 24/7 dedicated emergency department in accordance with state
and federal statutes and regulations.