Large turnout at Marin Healthcare District meeting hears about substantial progress toward Marin General Hospital transition
GREENBRAE, CA — More than 100 people, many of them Marin General Hospital employees, attended the Marin Healthcare District board meeting held Tuesday night at Marin General Hospital. District CEO Lee Domanico presented an update on Marin Healthcare District’ s activities in preparation for Sutter Health’ s departure from Marin General Hospital. The report showed that the District is on track to meet the timeline, and has already completed some critical tasks such as securing transition financing, filing state required seismic upgrade plans, and contracting with an IT vendor who is already busy at work creating a new, fully-integrated computer system and business office for the hospital. The report also included information on Marin General Hospital’ s finances showing the hospital has been very successful and self-funding over the past decade. ” With no long-term debt, and strong patient revenues, this hospital is better positioned for future success as a stand-alone community facility than a majority of the hospitals in California” Domanico told the group assembled. The District continues to move forward with its Transition Plan which calls for the complete turnover of Marin General Hospital to the District no later than July 1, 2010.
The District’ s financial advisors, Shattuck-Hammond Partners, gave a presentation on financing plans the District may use going forward. Presenter Michael Hammond noted that while financing markets are impacted by the economy, things have begun to loosen up and are expected to become even more favorable as time goes by. He pointed to several other hospitals in the state his firm has worked with that have recently been able to secure significant financing for a variety of projects. More specific plans for Marin Healthcare District’ s financing of Marin General Hospital are being prepared now.
Laura Freemore, with KSA, presented a first review of the proposed structure for the new hospital operating board. This board, which will be a subsidiary of the elected District board, will be charged with overseeing the day to day operations of Marin General Hospital once it returns to community control. The suggested board format will have between 9 and 11 Directors who would serve a maximum of three, 4-year terms, except under special circumstances allowing for a total of up to 15-years of service on the board. The board will be made up of local business and community leaders with areas of expertise that would benefit the hospital’ s operations.
At one point during the meeting about a dozen Marin General Hospital employees and doctors in attendance shared their concerns about Sutter’ s upcoming departure from Marin General Hospital. Some expressed concerns over the timing since the economy has slowed, impacting patient volumes, wondering if it might not be wise to allow Sutter to extend its stay. Others wanted more information on whether Marin General Hospital will be successful as a free-standing facility, no longer part of the health system such as Sutter. The board members explained why Marin General Hospital will be successful and why a delay in Sutter’ s departure would actually harm Marin General Hospital’ s future. Others in attendance spoke in favor of Sutter’ s departure and of Marin General Hospital’ s to return to community control.
District CEO Domanico thanked all the physicians, nurses and employees for attending the meeting and recognized all their work and dedication in providing the excellent quality of patient care at Marin General Hospital. Domanico offered to hold a special meeting, in the next 30-days, to answer questions for any interested physicians, nurses and staff. A date, time, and location are being arranged. The groups agreed to have more communication, and to hold additional meetings with staff going forward. Anyone interested in receiving a regular newsletter or info about upcoming meetings should email their address to the District at email@example.com or contact the District by phone at 415-464-2090 to be added to the mailing list.