San Andreas, CA — With its biggest decision in perhaps a generation looming, a local health care district is busily digging into grassroots voter outreach across Calaveras County.
As reported here, Mark Twain Health Care District’s (MTHCD) long-term lease with Mark Twain Medical Center (MTMC) operator Dignity Health, with whom it co-owns hospital assets, expires at the end of 2019. With an offer on the table from Dignity and negotiations still in play with Adventist Health Care the district board is expected by next month to ultimately decide between three options.
These are to remain with Dignity Health or another affiliate; choose to operate the hospital independently, which is unlikely; or run it with a management-of-services agreement. A large contingent of MTMC staff and doctors have made it known in recent weeks that they prefer the first option, as reported here. Once the district selects what it feels is its best alternative it will present it to the county board of supervisors and prepare an initiative for the June ballot that voters will have the option to give their thumbs up or down on.
In earlier interviews with Clarke Broadcasting, MTHCD Executive Director Dr. Randy Smart said he was hoping that district’s elected board members, President Lin Reed, Ann Radford, FNP, Susan Atkinson, MSW, Debbie Sellick, CMP and Talibah Al-Rafiq, member-at-large would have come to a decision by this month’s meeting. This week, he pushed out the date a bit. “We are still in the midst of final negotiations…I am guessing the November 29th date for decision is going to have to be pushed into December,” he shares.
On Wednesday Smart presented an update to the Valley Springs Area Business Association that included the hospital’s latest word on its planned new $6 million clinic off Highway 26. On Thursday, he addressed the Murphys Rotary Club. The first public town hall-style meeting is planned for Thursday, Nov. 30 at Independence Hall in Arnold, when Smart will present the district’s dog and pony show to Ebbetts Pass area residents. It will include a primer on the hospital district’s 71-year history, organizational relationships and how in-county health care is currently working. Other meetings he says are coming with dates to still be announced.