By now you may have heard the radio advertisements on KOZT, the Coast, jointly promoting the services of Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH) and Frank Howard Memorial in Willits and Ukiah Valley Medical Center (UVMC) in Ukiah.
I heard a rumor the other day that some or our employees have wondered if this joint advertising campaign with Howard and UVMC (both Adventist-owned hospitals) is an indication that Adventist is buying MCDH. I would like to set the record straight on this. The answer is no. MCDH is not for sale and the Adventist system has not offered to buy our hospital. In fact MCDH cannot be sold to another company without a vote of the citizens of our coastal community first. And that is not being contemplated.
The reason that we are advertising together is that the CEOs of all 3 hospitals in Mendocino County have realized years ago that Mendocino County needs all 3 of our hospitals to be strong and healthy. As a part of this spirit of cooperation, I have maintained that the hospitals need to show respect for each other by refraining from competitive advertising in each other’s primary service area.
You may have seen advertisements from UVMC and Howard Memorial in our local newspapers in the past. However due to our mutual agreement to support each other, the advertisements have mostly stopped. (Every so often, 1 slips through and a reminder is issued).
The new advertisements are designed to promote the fact that our County is blessed with 3 very good hospitals and that all 3 need to be supported by the residents of our communities. This is a “shop local in Mendocino County” campaign being tried on a 3-month trial basis. The cost is shared between the 3 hospitals with MCDH’s share being $937 per month.
It is possible that some of us are thinking that there is a connection between the advertisements and a current discussion that is taking place for Clinical Integration between MCDH and the Adventist system. In the coming months I anticipate that we will all be hearing more about Clinical Integration. Nothing has been decided yet. However we have agreed to commit to studying the possible benefits.
For now, all that is known about Clinical Integration is that this may be a way to bring in more doctors and specialists to the Coast with its goal being more benefit for those of us that live in this community. If that happens, I would expect that you will be hearing more on the radio and in the media about how our 3 hospitals are working together to improve health care in our communities and in Mendocino County.