At last Thursday’s board meeting, a new slate for the Board of Directors was installed. The board, which is the governing body of the Hospital Council and is responsible for the ultimate direction of the management of the affairs of the organization, includes:
- Chair – Edmundo Castañeda (Mercy General Hospital – Dignity)
- Past Chair – Todd Suntrapak (Valley Children’s Hospital)
- Chair Elect – Mary Jo Jacobson (San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital)
- Secretary/Treasurer – Siri Nelson (Marshall Medical Center)
- At-Large – John McCormick (Oak Valley Hospital)
- At-Large – Irene Chavez (Kaiser Permanente – San Jose)
Board leadership is crucial to Hospital Council, guiding our association as RVPs help hospitals navigate the concurrent challenges of wildfires, PSPS, COVID-19, and now, potentially the flu. For those of you who were in attendance at the board meeting, you had a chance to hear first-hand from Dr. Steve Herber at Adventist Health St. Helena about how his hospital has dealt with everything that has been thrown at them – including having to evacuate twice in recent months. Now, more than ever, the relationships and partnerships that we have formed on the local and regional levels have taken on heightened importance.
Coordination, collaboration, and communication are three core values that guide our vision and our relationships with local leaders. Every day, our RVPs are collaborating among members and health care stakeholders, working with them to find solutions to mutual problems and community issues. We’re coordinating with members and local leaders to find the best solutions to problems. And we’re communicating – talking to leaders and keeping the conversation going. As such, even in counties where we’ve had issues with testing orders, such as Santa Clara County, our proactive leadership has made a difference. We kept open the lines of communication, offered our insights, and made ourselves available to help in any way needed.
At the same time, it should be noted that the challenges with public health in Santa Clara County are not emblematic of the region as a whole. In places such as a Placer County, our values have been well-received, and the public health director has made it clear that they will “talk to hospitals” before issuing any orders. A similar story can be told in San Francisco, where public health clearly values the relationship with Hospital Council and has been upfront and willing to come to the table and work with us on matters that directly impact hospitals.
Equally as important as our relationships is ensuring hospitals and health systems have a strong voice when decisions are made that impact the delivery of health care. The California Hospital Association Political Action Committee (CHPAC) continually advocates for our members, helping to elect officials who understand the fundamental roles hospitals and health systems play in the future of health care. CHPAC is vital to Hospital Council’s advocacy agenda.
Whether advocating on public health orders or advocating for elected leaders, we have an opportunity to positively impact the outcome of health care’s important role in our communities.