WATSONVILLE, Calif. (KION-TV) UPDATE on Jan. 18, 2021 at 10:00 p.m. The Watsonville Community Hospital received a three million dollar grant to help keep their doors open.
The Central California Alliance for Health voted on Tuesday to move forward with the grant. The hospital was discussing the possibility of shutting down for good in December.
Alliance CEO Stephanie Sonnenshine said, "We are pleased that our board voted to make grant funding available to support local action to ensure that Pajaro Valley residents keep access to needed health care services in the community.”
WATSONVILLE, Calif. (KION) UPDATE on Dec. 3 at 4:00 p.m. Watsonville Community Hospital announced they reached an agreement with The Pajaro Valley Healthcare District Project to sell its operations.
PVHDP was established to promote community-led healthcare services and they've been working with the hospital for several weeks to reach an agreement for them to successfully buy the hospital.
As part of a chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization process, the hospital said it intends to file a motion asking the bankruptcy court to approve the PVHDP as the lead buyer or stalking horse bidder and approve the sale of its operations through a court-supervised auction.
According to the hospital, it plans to ask the court to schedule a hearing to consider the sale in February 2022.
The Watsonville Community Hospital could potentially close if they are not able to find a buyer. Hospital employees were notified in an email and a letter about the future of the hospital and permanent layoffs.
The Watsonville Community Hospital said they are facing significant financial challenges made worse by the pandemic. Like many hospitals, they had to borrow millions of dollars to fund its operations, but it wasn't able to avoid those losses, according to the letter. It said it hopes to sell the hospital as part of a chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization process.
The letter stated below:
The Pajaro Valley Healthcare District Project is a potential bidder for the hospital.
The nonprofit was established to promote community-led healthcare services. Their spokeswoman and former Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency Director, Mimi Hall said they've been working with the hospital for several weeks to reach an agreement for them to successfully buy the hospital.
“We hope that we will be able to arrive at one and we don't have a timeframe for it," Halls said in an interview with KION. "We're doing this because we recognize how important this hospital is to the community. And that we are going to try as hard as we can and leave no stone unturned to figure out a way where we can be successful in our end goals of saving this hospital, acquiring it for the community.”
PVHDP is formed by four entities including Satna Cruz County, City of Watsonville, Community Health Trust of Pajaro Valley, and Salud Para la Gente. Hall said the two overarching reasons for having a healthcare district model is to have accountability by having the members of the future board be stewards of the community and financial advantages available to public district hospital.
Halls also told KION that PVHDP intends to employ all the existing employees and have as little disruption as possible.