JCF will not seek March ballot measureFree Access

The John C. Fremont Healthcare District will not target a March 2020 ballot measure, its chief executive officer announced last week.

During last week’s JCF board meeting, CEO Matthew Matthiessen said the district is instead targeting a ballot measure for the November 2020 election. Hospital officials are eyeing a bond proposal that would help pay for a new hospital facility.

By law, hospitals across the state must meet certain earthquake-proof requirements found in SB1953 — the Hospital Seismic Safety Act — by the year 2030. JCF officials have been hoping to construct a new hospital to meet those requirements, but the clock is ticking. If JCF doesn’t meet those requirements, the state will “red-tag” the hospital.

JCF has been working with Tramutola, LLC, a company that will obtain information through research, about the public desire for a new hospital. Tramutola has extensive history in working with healthcare districts on similar projects.

There had been indications that the district would seek a bond measure on the March ballot, but the leadership team at Tramutola urged JCF officials to instead focus on the November election.

“We have been targeting for March, the primary election, to have a measure on the ballot,” Matthiessen said. “They are urging us to target November of next year to go to the ballot, rather than March. There are a lot of things that still need to be done and there is not much time between now and March.”

Matthiessen continued, “there are a lot of things we’ve been challenged with as a district recently that normally we wouldn’t be challenged with. There has been turnover and the issue with the northside community about not having a clinic because of a fire. There are a lot of things contributing to our challenges right now. Regardless of that, it’s still a challenge. What they are recommending — and what I agree with — is putting it off until November of next year to put together a thorough and complete campaign.”

Matthiessen also said JCF is working with Tramutola to begin polling the community about the potential for a new hospital. The information gathered from the polling will help JCF officials focus their communication to the community leading up to a vote.

“We’re working on nailing down what the wording of that polling is. There is a professional company that will be employed to do that for the community to find out where their knowledge is of the need (for a new hospital) and how they feel about it,” Matthiessen said.

Visit to AAUW

In other news, on Nov. 14, Matthiessen joined UC Merced professor Paul Brown and JCF employee Rachel Gorham to provide a trio of healthcare presentations to AAUW. Gorham presented Access to Rural Healthcare, while Brown presented Healthcare in Mariposa, and Matthiessen presented specifically about the district.

Matthiessen said in his board report that approximately 30 people attended and there was lots of interest in the potential for a new hospital.

“The questions were challenging and plentiful but ultimately it felt like unanimous support,” he said.

Employee honored

Farshad Mohammadi Pour (ultrasound tech) was named the JCF employee of the month for November.

He was praised at last week’s meeting for his politeness, as well as his “care for patients and coworkers.” He was described as an employee who “promotes teamwork” and as a “big proponent” of patient care.

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