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(Why) Should Eden Township Healthcare District Exist?

Do you know what it is or what it does? Don't feel bad if you say no. This little-known, publicly-elected governmental entity is struggling to redefine itself.

 

Since 1948 the Eden Township Healthcare District has served Castro Valley, Hayward, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, and the unincorporated areas of Ashland, Cherryland and Fairview.

It was originally formed to build Eden Hospital which opened in 1954.

In 1997 the district entered into a deal with the Sutter Health chain to operate Eden Hospital.

Similar arrangements were later extended to cover San Leandro Hospital, which the district acquired in 2004.

In a series of agreements, disagreements and, eventually, lawsuits, Sutter Health rebuilt Eden Hospital and finalized its control over San Leandro Hospital. 

Against this backdrop, the governing board of Eden Township Healthcare District met last week to mull its purpose and future as an entity without a hospital, as reported in the East Bay Citizen blog

The blog quoted district CEO Dev Mahadevan telling associates that the body needed "a convincing story to tell. Why should we need to exist?"

The same report suggested a raison d'etre advanced by district board member Dr. Vin Sawhney: to open urgent care centers that would compete with hospital-run emergency rooms and offer services at a fraction of the cost.

Whatever its rationale, the East Bay Citizen report suggests that the district should find it soon.

A county body called the Local Agency Formation Commission or LAFCO is informally assessing its purpose and viability.

Ken Martin April 15, 2013 at 08:52 PM
We sold our soul to the devil just to get a new hospital. I have had two occasions to use the new facility, both of them totally unsatisfactory. It is so poorly designed I can't believe that it was done by professionals. Would you believe that there is a door that exits from the lobby that is not wide enough for a wheelchair to fit through? It's true. I know because I was the passenger in the wheelchair. The emergency experience was about equal to or worse than the old hospital - 71/2 hours to get a 20 minute procedure done. Maybe we need Eden Township Healthcare District to give us some services that are better than are now available at the inefficiently designed and operated new hospital. If you doubt me, talk to doctor and nurses and volunteers (and patients that have been there) that are involved with this new facility. I have talked to several and none of them -100%- have anything positive to say about this place.

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