Mountain View, CA -July 22, 2013– The Santa Clara County Superior Court has issued a formal judgment on Measure M, declaring the initiative unconstitutional and that El Camino Hospital may provide compensation to its administrators, executives and managers without regard to the limit imposed by Measure M.
"For the last 50 years, the El Camino Healthcare District has been committed to the health and well-being of the community we serve, while maintaining fiscal responsibility," said Patricia Einarson, M.D., chair of the El Camino Healthcare District Board of Directors. "The conclusion of this case allows us to refocus our attention on developing vital programs and services to benefit our community today and well into the future."
The El Camino Hospital Board of Directors manages the hospital's compensation program, which applies to every employee within the organization. Each year, the Hospital Board conducts extensive market research to ensure employees are compensated at the median (50th percentile) of national health systems and hospitals similar in size and complexity to El Camino Hospital, and adjusted for higher costs of labor and living in Silicon Valley. The hospital's compensation philosophy also aims to support its mission to deliver quality, affordable healthcare through innovation and research.
"We are pleased with the court’s decision, which will enable El Camino Hospital to continue to deliver high-quality and compassionate care by recruiting and retaining a strong leadership team,” said Neal Cohen, M.D., chair of the El Camino Hospital Board of Directors. "As a public community hospital, we have a mission of affordability, a responsibility we take very seriously. Our compensation philosophy enables us to make thoughtful decisions around employee salaries and align them with the hospital’s overall strategic goals."
Measure M was a 2012 Santa Clara County ballot measure intended to cap annual salaries for El Camino Hospital executives at twice the California governor’s salary, or $350,000. The measure passed by a narrow margin on November 6, 2012. The Santa Clara County Superior Court ruled that the measure is unconstitutional for the following reasons:
1) The statutory initiative does not apply to local healthcare districts; and
2) Measure M does not enact a statute or ordinance, and therefore is not within initiative power.
El Camino Hospital is an acute-care, 443-bed, nonprofit and locally governed organization with campuses in Mountain View and Los Gatos, Calif. In addition to state-of-the-art emergency departments, key medical specialties include heart and vascular, cancer care, urology, orthopedic and spine, genomic medicine, and the only Women's Hospital in Northern California. The hospital is recognized as a national leader in the use of health information technology and wireless communications, and has been awarded the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center as well as back-to-back ANCC Magnet Recognitions for Nursing Care.
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.