Just a few days ago my mailbox spilled the usual handful of print items, one of which showed a great deal of promise, I thought. Since I had been attending many Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital (HHMH) board meetings plus community meetings among interested individuals, the reading of this piece left me stunned and confused. 

Here is the pitch from the pamphlet, “Financial Struggles Could Lead to Closure.”

“To ensure long-term financial sustainability, one option the San Benito Health Care District Board is considering is leasing the hospital—with an option to sell—to a private nonprofit company.”

Where is another option??? Within the entire pamphlet no other option is mentioned. In other words, this piece gives us no choice. This HHMH board wants only an agreement.

This HHMH board doubling as the San Benito Health Care District Board omits the other choice. Our own San Benito County Board of Supervisors offered a complete plan of financial resources and professional hospital management. The Free Lance reported that this plan was “snubbed.” The point is that two choices actually exist for the HHMH. 

“Any public sale would be decided by the voters, ideally during the Nov. 2024 Presidential Election to ensure the highest level of voter participation…” Inexplicably we are not given a chance to vote on the supervisors’ plan to save the hospital and grow it with the community. We voters are being primed to agree to a sale of our hospital, clinics, land and equipment.

“The proposal under negotiation meets a fair market valuation….” A bankruptcy judge ruled in federal court that this hospital does not qualify for bankruptcy but this HHMH board is filing an appeal so that the purchase price is reduced. 

I am shocked that this dual board, hospital and health care district, disregards so many doctors, nurses, unions, employees, farmers, community and business leaders, friends and neighbors who oppose a lease/sale. We taxpayers finance both boards; however, the hospital board takes advantage of us by an unacceptable omission and misrepresentation of their position. 

They do not seem to deserve their board seats.

Mary Zanger


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