Keep St. Rose Hospital in Hayward Open - Stephen Cassidy For Eden Health District Board
Preventing the closure of St. Rose Hospital is one of the principal reasons why I am running for the Eden Heath District Board. Let me explain why this is a pressing issue for the community:
Only one acute care general hospital serves the 160,000 residents of Hayward: St. Rose Hospital. Located next to Highway 880 at Tennyson Road, St. Rose is the second largest safety net hospital in Alameda County, receiving over 40,000 emergency room visits annually. In addition to an emergency room, the hospital has an intensive care unit, surgery rooms, labor and delivery rooms, women’s health center and cardiac receiving center.
Every second counts in an emergency. The loss of St. Rose would be devastating for Hayward resident. Furthermore, residents of Castro Valley and San Leandro would see emergency response times and waiting periods at acute care hospitals in their cities due to the spillover effect of patients previously seen at St. Rose being sent to Eden, San Leandro and Kaiser San Leandro hospitals.
St. Rose is a risk of closing for two reasons. First, because a large percentage of its patients are uninsured or low-income residents, the non-profit hospital operates at annual deficit of over $15 million. The only reason St. Rose has not closed is taxpayers cover its losses each year in subsidies paid to the hospital by Alameda County.
Second, acute care hospitals statewide must meet stringent directives on seismic safety to ensure that they are safe and capable of providing services to the public requiring the retrofit or rebuilding of facilities to prevent ensure their operation following an earthquake.
California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) has created a series of Seismic Performance Categories (SPC) – from 1 (lowest, most at risk of collapse in a strong earthquake) to 5 (highest, most seismically compliant) to grade the readiness of the state’s hospitals.
OSHPD rates the main hospital tower at St. Rose as SPC-2. All acute care hospitals in California with a SPC-2 rating must closed by 2030 unless they have been retrofitted or replaced.
The cost of bringing St. Rose up to state seismic standards retrofitting or rebuilding St. Rose is estimated at over $100 million. Given its annual operating deficits, St. Rose lacks the capital to meet the state seismic mandate.
Thus, unless a funding source identified and plans developed in the next several years to retrofit or replace St. Rose, by 2030 Hayward will lose its sole hospital with an emergency room.
What is the solution? I have always believed in the saying "Failing to plan is planning to fail."
As Mayor of San Leandro, I played a key role in keeping San Leandro Hospital open in 2012-13 after Sutter Health had announced a plan to close the facility. From that experience I know that all stakeholders need to come together and develop a plan to eliminate St. Rose's annual deficit.
Merging with the Alameda Health System, the public healthcare group in Alameda County that runs Highland, San Leandro and City of Alameda hospitals is an option that should be seriously considered. Once St. Rose's finances are stabilized, then we can focus on raising funds to retrofit or replace St. Rose.
How can you help me get elected so I can work on saving St. Rose Hospital? First, please copy and share this message with your friends in Hayward, Castro Valley and San Leandro. Second, please place a lawn sign for my campaign in your front yard. You can email me at email@example.com and give me your address. I will bring by a sign. Finally, you can follow the campaign and receive updates by liking my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MayorCassidy/