CHW set to become sole owner of Sequoia Hospital

A decision today could allow Catholic Healthcare West to assume ownership of Sequoia Hospital and would provide a funding plan for the $240 million retrofit and remodel of the hospital.

CHW took over management of Sequoia Hospital in 1996 to help bail the 57-year-old facility out of near-bankruptcy, said Michael Papalian, president of the physician staff at the hospital. Nonprofit Sequoia Health Services maintained ownership of the hospital; operations were overseen by the Sequoia Healthcare District.

The district’s board will vote today whether to invest $75 million of its own money toward the state-mandated retrofit, and whether to dissolve Sequoia Health Services and grant CHW ownership of the hospital, hospital CEO Glenna Vaskelis said.

Under the deal, SHS and CHW would also contribute $75 million each, while the remaining $15 million for the retrofit would be accumulated through fundraising.

CHW is assuming ownership now because the hospital renovations need to go forward, Vaskelis said.

“[CHW] felt they had to have ownership in order to take on that kind of financial obligation,” Vaskelis said.

One pediatrician associated with Sequoia Hospital has opposed the deal, saying it should have undergone much more public scrutiny.

“This is taxpayer money and we have a huge stake in this deal,” pediatric cardiologist Michael Griffin said.

However, most of Sequoia’s physicians are content to let CHW take ownership, Papalian said.

“In 1996 [when CHW took over], the hospital was in huge financial trouble. We’ve had 10 years to see what it would be like, and we’ve been pretty happy,” Papalian said.

Construction on the hospital’s new parking garage broke ground this month, will officially get under way in December and is scheduled to finish in late 2008. After that, the hospital’s new pavilion and medical office building will be constructed, followed by a seismic retrofit of the existing hospital.

The project is scheduled to finish in 2012, Vaskelis said.

While the Sequoia Healthcare District is funded through taxpayer revenues, its contribution comes from money the district received from CHW in 1996 and set aside in an investment fund, board member Kathleen Kane said.

The Sequoia Healthcare District board meets today at 4 p.m. at Sequoia Hospital, 170 Alameda de las Pulgas in Redwood City.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Gov. Gavin Newsom, show here speaking at the City College of San Francisco mass vaccination site in April, faces a recall election due to anger on the right over his handling of the pandemic, among other issues. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Why Gavin Newsom’s popularity could work against him in the recall election

Top pollster: ‘We’re not seeing the Democrats engaged in this election. And that may be a problem…’

Passengers ride the 14-Mission Muni bus on Friday, March 12, 2021. (Jordi Molina/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Transit officials fear Free Muni pilot could hurt already-strained service levels

Supporters say fare cuts could increase ridership, help low-income residents

The vacant property at 730 Stanyan St. in the Haight currently houses a safe sleeping site for the homeless. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Affordable housing project on former McDonald’s site delayed as city adds units

The start of construction on an affordable housing project on the site… Continue reading

Visitors read a notice hanging on the Polk Street entrance to City Hall on Thursday, March 26, 2020, shortly after the building was closed. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City Hall reopening to the public on June 7 after long closure due to COVID-19

San Francisco will reopen City Hall to the public on June 7… Continue reading

Historic streetcars are undergoing testing on The Embarcadero to prepare for their return to service on May 15.<ins></ins>
What to expect for Muni Metro’s relaunch on May 15

Significant service restoration includes downtown subway tunnels and historic streetcars

Most Read