As fall fast approaches, so far this year has again seen new challenges for our member hospitals as they recover from the frenetic and tireless work over the last two-plus years. It’s with pride that I express my empathy and gratitude for this difficult work — and my pleasure in sharing recent accomplishments that wouldn’t be possible without your immense support.
Unfair and Unequal Pay Measures
As you’re aware, HASC, CHA and our advocacy partners have been campaigning to oppose unfair and unequal ballot measures that would increase wages only for some workers at some facilities. I’m pleased to share that on Tuesday, the Los Angeles city clerk confirmed validation of the required number of voter signatures demanding a vote on the $25/hour health care minimum wage ordinance passed by the Los Angeles city council. The referendum is a clear indication that Los Angeles voters want the right to decide on this deeply flawed measure. The ordinance will not take effect unless voters approve the referendum, likely on the 2024 ballot.
I’m also pleased to share that Baldwin Park city council members also recognized the inequities of the proposed measure and rejected a similar ordinance in a 3-2 vote last Wednesday. These victories validate our position that voters who are informed about the consequences of these unsound measures will conclude that they simply are not the way to increase wages.
While these achievements are a testament to the outstanding efforts of all involved, we acknowledge that much work remains. We will continue to oppose these measures and act in cities where they have been filed — and we remain vigilant against similar measures that might surface in other cities.
National Health Foundation Arleta Project
Last year, the City of Los Angeles awarded the National Health Foundation (NHF), HASC’s charitable affiliate, a $20 million, 43,000-square-foot property to provide 148 recuperative care beds for older adults experiencing homelessness. The state-of-the-art facility will provide trauma-informed care to adults over the age of 55 experiencing homelessness.
A $10.6 million renovation budget was approved by the city, with NHF receiving $3.55 million up front to secure pricing of materials and contracted labor. Construction is anticipated to begin at the end of September and take six months to complete, with certification of occupancy granted by April 2023 and a May 2023 opening date.
Pandemic Response and Emergency Planning (PREP) Report
HASC is currently holding stakeholder meetings to elicit additional feedback before finalizing our after-action report this fall. The PREP Report draws from a broad range of perspectives to fully understand the extraordinary challenges that emerged over the course of the pandemic; identify unique and best practices; and provide meaningful and actionable recommendations for cross-industry preparedness for future emergencies. As we finalize the report for broad distribution, I am thankful to our hospital members and our many partners for their thoughtful and profound contributions.
Take care and stay safe.