SAN LEANDRO — San Leandro Hospital's hotly debated future will be discussed Thursday at a town hall meeting.
The community forum will be hosted by state Sen. Ellen Corbett, who has supported exploring ways to keep the hospital open.
Sutter Health — which has operated the hospital since 2004 under the ownership of the Eden Township Healthcare District — earlier this month reached a lease agreement to turn over San Leandro Hospital to the Alameda County Medical Center.
The agreement is contingent on Sutter being able to purchase San Leandro Hospital from Eden Township, said Andrea Breaux, Alameda County Medical Center spokeswoman.
An agreement with the district signed in 2007 allows Sutter to exercise three options within a time-frame that began July 1 and ends June 30.
The options are purchasing San Leandro Hospital from the district, or reducing services, or leaving the current operation as is, Sutter Health spokeswoman Gwendolyn McClain said.
Sutter exercised its option to purchase San Leandro Hospital and notified the district on July 27.
Last week, Eden district directors at a board meeting rejected Sutter's bid to take ownership of the hospital.
McClain said that Sutter, as of Tuesday, had yet to hear formally from the district on the status of its bid to purchase the hospital.
Vin Sawhney, Eden Township board member, previously told The Daily Review that the hospital's emergency room is needed to service the surrounding communities.
In addition to emergency services, San Leandro Hospital serves as a primary acute care facility. However, the hospital is losing money, McClain said.
Sutter would have to pump at least $5 million each year into the hospital to keep it running. The health care provider has invested more than $30 million into San Leandro Hospital the past five years, McClain said.
Alameda County Medical Center plans to convert San Leandro Hospital into a physical rehabilitation and urgent care facility.
Urgent care is for patients who have injuries or illnesses that require attention but are not serious enough for a visit to an emergency room, officials said.
In a release provided by the Alameda County Medical Center, two-thirds of all trips to the emergency department at San Leandro Hospital could be treated in an urgent care facility, according to data collected from patient visits.
If San Leandro Hospital were to lose its emergency room, those services would be handled by Sutter-owned Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, St. Rose Hospital in Hayward and Highland Hospital in Oakland.
Reach Kristofer Noceda at 510-293-2479. Follow him at twitter.com/Noceda_Reports.