Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital officials, led by new CEO Matt Gerlach, should consider "rebranding" the public district system and building a model focused on "population health management."
Officials should also continue looking at partnering with other health care organizations.
That's according to a series of recommendations to be presented to the Salinas Valley Memorial board at Thursday's meeting, set for 4 p.m. in the hospital's Cislini Plaza board room.
To be presented by Chief Operating Officer Jim Griffith, the recommendations were assembled by an advisory committee during a months-long process that started in the fall. The group concluded its work earlier this month.
The committee, which included more than three dozen members ranging from hospital officials and medical professionals to labor representatives and business and community leaders, worked with consultant Alvarez & Marsal on a plan for the hospital's future without an influx of cash from an affiliation partner.
Among the recommendations:
· Provide more information to the community describing the reasoning and actions of the hospital board.
· Have a long-term strategy for replacing buildings.
· Prepare for a shift from inpatient to outpatient demand.
· Create a team of experts on a health benefit exchange to educate "key constituents."
· Reduce costs to remain competitive.
The committee was convened shortly after hospital officials decided to reject a proposed merger with county-owned Natividad Medical Center. It was also after a financial forecast suggested the hospital would have to improve its bottom line by about $40 million to remain a successful standalone organization and pay for a new facility by 2030 to meet state seismic safety standards.
After a few years of losses and cost-cutting efforts, the hospital this fiscal year reported multimillion-dollar earnings.
The board is also set to approve a final employment agreement with Gerlach, who is slated to take over March 29 — the hospital's 60th anniversary. He will replace interim CEO Lowell Johnson.