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?
If elected to the DPHCB I will begin by making sure I am informed of all the most current information and facts as it relates to the operations of the district. I will examine budgets from five years past and any other relevant information concerning the district’s operations. I would also review all existing contracts with vendors to assure we’re still utilizing our funds in an effective manner. I have been a public servant for the past 17 years, the last four as the mayor of Patterson, and I pride myself in being part of past and present councils that managed and operated the city in a fiscally responsible manner. No other city in Stanislaus County can compare with our current financial standing. I believe there’s a need for new leadership at the district level, and I hope to bring fresh ideas and a different outlook. If elected, I look forward to working with the rest of the board members and debating issues before the public.
What are the immediate needs for health care on the West Side? What needs to happen to bring those services to Patterson?
I believe immediate needs are the urgent care center and expansion of hours of service for the public. Additionally, we need to evaluate the district’s financial standings. To expand the hours and bring an urgent care center, we will need to give new focus on to how to implement these changes. By working with staff at the district, we will create a plan to make the changes happen.
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?
The health care district board needs to continue to serve its purpose: to represent the community. Transparency and accountability are important in the process of maintaining the trust and respect of the community. I will bring my experience, my integrity and my leadership to the board in order to regain that trust. I want to obtain answers to several concerns from the community. If there are challenges, then I want to be part of the solution to find ways of providing the best services to our residents first. I don’t believe a hospital is viable at this time. It would be too costly, and the community is already taxed enough! We may be able to get a larger hospital to open a satellite clinic, which can offer most of the services that a large hospital offers. By partnering with a larger health care provider, we should be able to increase services to our community. I consider being able to offer an urgent care facility to our residents as the most pressing short-term need that the district can do something about. Specialized care is a great idea; however, urgent care in my opinion is more important.
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?
No, I believe more due diligence and fiscal responsibility needs to be exercised. I cannot make any recommendations for cuts in any area until I have had an opportunity to evaluate the entire financial situation. The financial information that has been made to the public through private advertisements only shows one side. I want to examine the entire situation before making any recommendations.
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?
I think the district needs to be more inclusive and transparent. As far as I can remember, there have always been concerns regarding the board’s practices. Recent activities by the board have also raised many questions regarding their leadership. It is reflected by the number of candidates on the ballot. No matter what the reasons for running, there has to be some level of discontent from the new candidates about the current board’s activities. Meetings need to be conducted at reasonable times when the majority of the community can attend. Holding a public meeting the day after Christmas is not reasonable. There is plenty of room for improvement. If elected, I will strongly encourage transparency and accountability.