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PVH Operations Transition Update

By The PHCD Team   |   August 11, 2017


Keeping the community informed of the Petaluma Health Care District's efforts to transition Petaluma Valley Hospital operations to Paladin Healthcare

Latest Update:  August 11, 2017

The Petaluma Health Care District continues to work on Petaluma Valley Hospital’s (PVH) transition plans and agreements, the success of which is dependent upon the active participation and collaboration of our current operator, St. Joseph Health, and our recommended operator, Paladin. We face several challenges that are complicating and slowing the process.

As communicated previously, we are endeavoring to ensure that St. Joseph Health fulfills its legal obligation to return a viable, functioning hospital to the District so that we can then lease hospital operations to a new operator.

As a result of St. Joseph Health’s decision years ago to make PVH’s Information Technology platform part of a remote, regional system, a new independent system must be built and paid for before hospital operations may be transferred. Based on an analysis of the existing system and extensive communication with the existing system’s vendors, development of a new platform will take from eight to 12 months from the date final agreements are signed. The new platform will be similar to what exists at PVH now, to ensure familiarity for and continuity with staff. As you can imagine, this process is both highly complex and expensive. All parties will contribute financing to the system build-out through different methods.

Another time and effort-intensive aspect of the PVH transition is the need for interconnected and complementary agreements that formally document and guide St. Joseph Health’s surrender of operations and Paladin’s assumption of hospital operations. In addition, the terms of Paladin’s lease of the hospital facility and operations of the hospital over the term of the lease must be completed. Adjustments to one agreement with St. Joseph Health or Paladin often necessitates adjustments in a different agreement with the other, a somewhat painstaking process that is mired in small details.

This combination of factors has slowed us down and significantly delayed the date on which Paladin is able to assume the operation of PVH. In the interim, St. Joseph Health has agreed for now to continue to operate PVH to ensure that Southern Sonoma County will not experience any disruption in hospital services. We are anxious to get our next operator settled at PVH.

We are not able to put a measure on the November ballot because the parties have not yet agreed to all of the material terms of the transaction agreements. The Board continues to work tirelessly to achieve signed agreements as soon as possible. A smooth transition of our community hospital without any patient disruption remains our ultimate goal.

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