The proposed sale of the Daughters of Charity Health System is being
unfairly criticized by the nurses' union and other special interest
groups who have put their own self-interests above those of the DCHS
hospitals, the president of DCHS said today.
"These unfounded criticisms are dangerous to the future health care
needs of the local communities," said Robert Issai, president and CEO of
DCHS. "These concerns against a potential buyer are purely in the
self-interest of those voicing the criticisms."
The Board of Directors of the Daughters of Charity Health System has
given its unanimous support to the ongoing evaluation of potential
buyers for its troubled hospital network, endorsing a process to find a
buyer that can hopefully keep the hospitals functioning.
"The public needs to understand that there is much more to the process
than finding someone who can buy the hospitals for the most money," said
Issai. "The board has established a strict set of standards that must be
met. And we have made a point of ensuring that the process is fair and
responsible for all potential buyers."
The chief operating officers of all DCHS hospitals endorsed the process,
which is being led by Issai. The network of hospitals is expected to
lose more than $150 million this fiscal year. A buyer must be found or
the hospitals may be forced to shut down.
"The system of care embraced by DCHS in the past cannot be sustained in
the current health care environment," Issai said. "Our goal is to find a
buyer that meets our obligations to our associates, our retirees, our
bondholders and our communities."
The unions are among a number of stakeholders who have an interest in
the sale, but they are by no means alone. By choosing to criticize
potential buyers for unrelated operational issues, union leaders are
diverting attention from the many other pressing issues facing the board
in the sale evaluation, Issai said.
"The board is clear on what needs to be considered when evaluating a
buyer," Issai said. "The priorities of all the stakeholders should be in
line with goals of the board of directors to find a buyer who can keep
these hospitals operating without jeopardizing the pensions of current
and retired employees."
Among the criteria being used to evaluate a buyer:
Daughters of Charity started its health care mission in California in
1858 with the opening of the Los Angeles Infirmary, now known as St.
Vincent Medical Center. Today, the health system includes a medical
foundation, six hospitals, among them: O'Connor Hospital in San Jose,
Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy and Seton Medical Center in
Daly City, and Seton Coastside, a long-term care facility and stand-by
emergency room in Moss Beach.
Last year, the Daughters of Charity hospitals cared for 172,000
emergency room visitors and provided in excess of $159 million in
uncompensated care and services to people living in poverty, in addition
to $22 million in traditional charity care.
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