April 4, 2012
One of three prospective partners to Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare Systems opted to back out of the running before the board could even decide on whether to proceed to "round two" of considerations for which, if any affiliation, stands to sustain the hospital through a fiscally tumultuous time.
Vanguard, the mid-sized private contender in the mix, backed out before Wednesday night's board meeting, leaving the nation's largest private healthcare provider, HCA, and the county hospital, Natividad, in the pool of potential affiliates for SVMH.
The board voted 4-1, with Nathan Olivas dissenting on the grounds that the process to select a partner is moving too quickly, to proceed with further analysis of what partnerships with HCA and Natividad would look like. They hope to firm up a deal by late fall—if they opt to pursue a deal at all.
The board could choose to keep SVMH freestanding. If the board does approve a merger, it would still have to pass muster with district voters and get a majority of yes votes to move forward.
With reporting by Mary Duan