June 16, 2011, Mountain View, CA--El Camino Hospital District (ECHD) announced that it has received and preliminarily reviewed the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury report released today entitled, "El Camino Hospital District." ECHD respects the role of the Civil Grand Jury and will give due consideration to the findings and recommendations in the report.
The ECHD is a public agency that prides itself on efficiently and transparently providing services to accomplish its basic mission: providing medical facilities and health service assistance for the benefit of the District and the people served by the District. Among other services to the community, ECHD provides an ongoing and robust Community Benefits Plan that funds a range of programs, from free health clinics and school nursing services to vaccinations and dental health.
The focus of the report is on the use of District funds and whether the District made expenditures or is providing health care services outside of its service area, specifically in relation to the purchase of Community Hospital Los Gatos. Recently, the Santa Clara County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) staff completed an independent review that initially concluded no District funds were spent on this acquisition or operations and therefore the District is not providing services outside its boundaries.
The ECHD is a vigilant steward of the public money it receives. The ECHD Board ensures that District funds are expended for the benefit of the District and the people served by the District. However, El Camino Hospital, which is a nonprofit corporation and a separate legal entity from the District, serves the larger community.
"We appreciate the report's acknowledgment of the commitment of the ECHD Board members and the success of the El Camino Hospital and, while we disagree with some of the report's other statements, we welcome the opportunity to continuously improve our processes and communications," stated John Zoglin, Chairman of the ECHD Board of Directors. "We want to ensure that the community fully understands and appreciates the range of services provided by the District with the taxes received, because our approach is critical to providing quality health services to the community we serve."
The El Camino Hospital District was established by voter approval in 1956 in accordance with California Local Hospital District Law. The purpose of the District is to establish, maintain and operate or provide assistance in the operation of health facilities and other health care services provider, groups and organizations that are necessary for the maintenance of good physical and mental health in the communities served by the District. The District, now known as El Camino Healthcare District, encompasses most of Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills; a large portion of Sunnyvale, and small sections of Cupertino, Santa Clara, and Palo Alto. The publicly elected El Camino Healthcare District Board of Directors approves tax dollar expenditures, including expenditures for the award winning Community Benefit program. Community Benefit funds are granted each year to local nonprofits, schools and government programs that provide critical health services to the underserved. All District Board meetings are publicly noticed, open to the public, and available for viewing on the District website.