Council Connect Article

RVP Roundup

Here’s a look at how Hospital Council’s RVPs have been working on behalf of hospitals over the past few weeks.

On June 29, Contra Costa County issued a health order requiring workers in hospitals and other high-risk settings to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or wear face coverings on the job and get tested weekly for the virus.

The order covers hospital employees, physicians, volunteers, and contractors.  To comply, hospitals will need to collect and verify the vaccination status of their workers, establish and enforce weekly testing for unvaccinated personnel, and maintain records for county inspection. The health order takes effect July 27. Hospitals met with the county health officer to review the order and are sharing best practices and implementation strategies with each other through Hospital Council. 

For more information, contact RVP Rebecca Rozen at rrozen@hospitalcouncil.org.

Between June 28 and July 1, Hospital Council visited with member hospitals in the North Bay and Redwood Coast sections. While each hospital has had individual challenges and successes, some notable successes include:

Universal concerns when it comes to providing health care in rural settings were also discussed. These include:

  • Behavioral health: A rise in behavioral health needs, tracking with pandemic precautions while county services conversely minimized, has placed significant strain on emergency departments and case managers. The combination of patients for whom the departments are not equipped to appropriately care and the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 is having a negative impact on staff morale. Hospitals recognize that county services are working to decant, but services haven’t kept pace with need.
  • Recruiting: Providence St. Joseph’s innovative efforts to bring more physicians to its service area stand out, and the need is urgent throughout Humboldt, Mendocino, and Del Norte counties. From specialty physicians to line staff, recruiting sufficient health care personnel is a universal challenge. Many facilities pointed to a lack of housing as a significant barrier to recruitment.
  • Regulations: CHA’s seismic advocacy is being keenly watched among many single-story wood-frame rural hospitals, for whom the outcome of seismic legislation could determine what and whether they continue to provide care in their communities. Many hospitals have updated and met 2030 seismic standards, yet other well-intentioned regulations leave hospitals unable to afford the high price tag attached with shifting space usage to match community need (e.g., an old emergency department being used as office space instead of swing beds).

For more information, contact RVPs Meghan Hardin at mhardin@hospitalcouncil.org or T Abraham at tabraham@hospitalcouncil.org.

On June 28, there was a special primary election for Assembly District 18, formerly held by California’s Attorney General Rob Bonta. The district encompasses the cities of Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro. There were nine candidates in the race. The California Hospital Association Political Action Committee supported Mia Bonta (D), President of the Alameda Unified School District Board, CEO of the nonprofit Oakland Promise, and spouse of Rob Bonta. She received 38% of the vote. Janani Ramachandran (D), a social justice attorney from Oakland, received 22% of the vote. As the top two finishers they will head to a run-off election on Aug. 31. 

For more information, contact RVP Rebecca Rozen at rrozen@hospitalcouncil.org.