Council Connect Articles

Redwood Coast Hospitals Discuss Pressing Issues


  • Hospital leaders from Redwood Coast Section (Jerold Phelps Community Hospital, Mad River Community Hospital, Providence-St. Joseph Hospital Eureka, Sutter Coast Hospital) 
  • Cal Poly Humboldt 


The leaders of the five hospitals representing Del Norte and Humboldt counties gathered in person on April 16 to welcome Mike Lane (Sutter Coast) and Michael Keleman (Providence Eureka and Redwood) to the section and discuss pressing hospital issues. All leaders present expressed concern over workforce availability and cost; Humboldt and Del Norte both have aging populations, and it is hard to recruit all levels of staff to the hospitals.  

Of equal concern, seismic retrofitting costs that range from challenging to impossible for Humboldt County hospitals necessitate a review of services that may have to be cut in order to achieve the standards by the 2030 deadline.

In a spot of bright news, Connie Stewart, executive director of initiatives, Cal Poly Humboldt, shared that the university’s health care education hub, under construction in Arcata, will begin services by the end of 2025. The largest part of the hub measures over 32,000 square feet and will hold an immersive simulation suite for tomorrow’s health care workforce.  

Takeaway/Next Steps

The challenges posed by seismic retrofitting costs and a slow drip of workforce availability are not unique to hospitals in California. While historically the hospitals in Humboldt and Del Norte have competed for market share in certain areas, they are now working together to retain health care access for as much of their population as possible. Hospital Council proudly serves as a gathering space for this kind of collective innovation and looks forward to advancing the cause. 


RVP Meghan Hardin at