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San Benito County
Wednesday June 7th, 2023 :: 04:19 p.m. PDT


The County of San Benito Attempts to Bring Solutions to Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital

The County of San Benito Attempts to Bring Solutions to Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital
Hollister— June 7, 2023 — Prompted by concerns for the future of healthcare in its community, leaders from the County of San Benito (COSB) announced today that they had invited Salinas Valley Health to collaborate with the County in a process of due diligence related to the operations and future prospects of Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital (HHMH).  Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital, operated by the San Benito Health Care District, filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy on May 23, 2023, following a declaration of fiscal emergency in November 2022.
Nevertheless, when the County discussed their interest in collaborating with Salinas Valley with hospital representatives, they were told that the hospital was not willing to permit the County and Salinas Valley Health to conduct due diligence or to present a proposal. 
“Hazel Hawkins is a vital provider of necessary health care services to our local residents,” said Ray Espinosa, San Benito County Administrator. “The County of San Benito and Salinas Valley are prepared to conduct due diligence and to explore solutions in collaboration with the hospital.  We strongly believe we should have the opportunity to see what is possible.  We believe that this is what our community deserves.”
“Salinas Valley Health is dedicated to our communities and recognize that we are a part of the larger health care ecosystem of Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito Counties,” said Pete Delgado, President/Chief Executive Officer of Salinas Valley Health. “We are happy to work with the County of San Benito and Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital in identifying potential opportunities to ensure Hazel Hawkins can continue providing life-saving care to the community.”
“The County is hopeful that the hospital will reconsider its decision and agree to open the due diligence process to the County and Salinas Valley Health,” said Espinosa, “Unless and until a proposal has been received and accepted by the hospital, we do not feel that our community can take risks that no solution is identified.  We are prepared to help.”
The San Benito Health Care District retained the financial services firm, B. Riley late last year to stabilize financial performance, seek short-term capital, and to identify potential buyers or partners that could support the future success of the hospital.  No formal proposals have yet been received.
The County Government of San Benito County (pop.62,808) serves a diverse rural area with two incorporated cities and three unincorporated towns. The County encompasses almost 1,400 square miles and was formed from parts of Monterey County in 1874.

Salinas Valley Health, formerly Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, founded in 1953, serves thousands of individuals and families throughout the Salinas Valley, Monterey Peninsula, and the surrounding region. its highly trained team of healthcare professionals have a renowned reputation for quality patient care.  The 263-bed acute care hospital employs more than 2,036 people and has a medical staff of more than 300 board-certified physicians across a variety of specialties.
For more information:
For the County of San Benito:
            Contact: Cecilia Montalvo
            Phone: 650-868-7305
For Salinas Valley Health:
            Contact: Karina Rusk
            Phone: 831-759-1843

San Benito County
471 4th St
Hollister, CA 95023

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 831-636-4000

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