Candidate for Del Puerto Health Care Board
What do you specifically plan to accomplish if you are elected to the Del Puerto Health Care District board? Why do you want to be on the board?
When the City Council voted to stall the health care district’s move to the Keystone Pacific Business Park, especially after the initiative proponents produced over 2,000 signatures in support of the move to expand health care services, I was furious and decided at that point I needed to get involved. I want the health care district to expand and be the focal point for medical services on the West Side. I will continue to work with the district to implement its Strategic Plan. We have the opportunity now to plant the seeds for the much-needed medical growth that will serve our West Side now and in the future.
What are the immediate needs for health care on the West Side? What needs to happen to bring those services to Patterson?
The Del Puerto Health Care District needs to continue its strategic growth plan with its expansion to the new and larger facility at the Keystone Pacific Business Park, where there will be generous space for patients and doctors. The new center will include primary care, pediatrics, internal medicine, cardiology, radiology, neurology, orthopedics, minor surgery and urgent care. The recent struggle to accomplish the needed health care services expansion, caused by the current landlord, has been unnecessary. It’s time we move forward and give our community the expanded medical services it deserves.
What do you foresee for the future of health care on the West Side? Are there enough people on the West Side to support a future hospital or large-scale medical facility?
Del Puerto Health Care District has done an excellent job staying the course with its plan to expand medical services for the West Side. Once the district’s clinic relocates to the business park, I see tremendous opportunity for ancillary medical services to follow. The location is sandwiched between our job center and residential areas, meaning convenience for our community to access all its medical needs. Our population currently can’t support a hospital. But, in time, as the community grows and because we will be the center for our West Side medical services, we will be the logical place for a West Side hospital. It must make solid financial sense before I would vote to invest in a hospital.
Is the Del Puerto Health Care District doing all that it can to maintain a positive bottom line financially? If financial cuts should be made, where should they happen?
The Del Puerto Health Care District is currently on solid financial ground and is run fiscally conservative. The district currently pays $1.70/square foot rent for a 5,000-square-foot facility. When the clinic moves to its new space, which is more than double in size from its current cramped quarters, its rent equivalent drops by 47 percent. The community will own an asset instead of paying rent, which to me makes good business sense. And, by expanding its services to include specialists and additional medical uses, the growth of the health care district’s business will put the district in an even better financial position to continue its outstanding service to the community.
Is the health care district doing all that it can to make its decisions transparent to the public? Are there any improvements that can be made in this area?
The question implies that the district hasn’t been transparent. Nothing could be further from the truth. The district conducts its business in an open public meeting forum. And, if the public wants specific information on the district’s finances or other matters concerning its operation, it simply needs to call the district office at 892-8781 and ask. One only needs to attend the district’s monthly board meeting or meet with the district’s CEO Margo Arnold to quickly put the “transparency” issue to rest.