Gov. Brown Signs Bill Allowing Natividad to Merge
October 1, 2012
As Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System's list of prospective partners whittled itself down to three then two then one—the county's safety net hospital, Natividad Medical Center, was the last bidder standing—one of the uncertainties SVMH officials cited as cause for concern was the need for state legislation that would authorize a merger between the public hospitals.
Assembly Bill 276, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown into law on Sunday, allows Natividad to merge with a partner by authorizing the Monterey County Board of Supervisors to establish a Central Coast Public Hospital Authority.
AB 276, authored by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, allows Natividad to keep its safety net designation in the event of a merger, and the authority would have an appointed board of trustees.
"In an era of healthcare reform and a constantly evolving competitive healthcare market place, it is important to improve Natividad Medical Center’s ability to function with increased flexibility, responsiveness, and innovation,” Alejo said in a statement.
"We are building friendships, we are building relationships out there," Weis told the Weekly in July. "Because we recognize the need to partner, we will partner even if [SVMH] chooses to stand alone."