Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital announced March 21 that its leadership staff will withdraw notices previously sent to employees that cautioned of a potential hospital closure and loss of jobs. 

The notices are being withdrawn because HHMH has made “significant progress in shoring up its finances” since December, when the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notices (WARN) were first sent to employees, says a press release from the Hollister hospital. 

“Since December, we have worked diligently to shore up the finances of the hospital and the efforts have proven successful,” said Mary Casillas, Interim CEO for Hazel Hawkins.

HHMH issued WARN notices to employees in December, and then again in February as the hospital has faced an ongoing financial crisis. Such notices are required by federal law to be issued 60 days before a possible closure by a large employer. WARN notices can be extended or retracted if the hospital is successful in finding enough resources to stay open. 

The initial notices cautioned employees that the hospital might close in February, which has passed without HHMH’s closure. The hospital administrative staff’s latest financial assessment is that it has enough money to stay open at least through late summer 2023. 

The hospital’s board of directors in November 2022 adopted a resolution declaring a fiscal emergency. 

But efforts since then to improve HHMH’s financial situation have resulted in the San Benito Health Care District “beating its cash projections by more than $11 million between November 2022 and February 2023,” says the March 21 press release. During that period, the district preserved $6.8 million of cash from revenue enhancing and cost saving operational enhancements, gained $1.1 million through the deferral of certain tax liabilities, obtained a $3 million no-interest loan from the State of California and received an approximately $900,000 advance of the district’s expected property tax receipts from San Benito County. 

The District continues its efforts to find a strategic partner or buyer and has been able to contact more than 100 potential partners from across the nation, the press release continues. This has resulted in more than a dozen interested and qualified entities entering into nondisclosure agreements to conduct due diligence. The district has already received one letter of intent from a qualified entity and expects additional interest in the coming weeks. 

“Our efforts to implement a long-term stabilization strategy with a qualified partner present the most expedient and likely path to preserve the District’s healthcare facilities and operations for San Benito County,” said Casillas. “There is still much work to be done and we are a long way from the finish line. We will continue to need the help of the local community to preserve the future of healthcare in our community.”

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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