Brief history, updated
to save downtown San José health care
(now called HCA) the largest for-profit hospital corporation in the nation,
bought San Jose Medical Center (SJMC), a downtown institution since 1923.
SJMC staff and the public were assured retrofitting for earthquake safety
would be done as well as modernizing.
1998 Alexian Brothers [now called Regional Medical Center (RMC
)], 2½ miles from SJMC, was obtained. Columbia announced possible
closure of SJMC in favor of expanding at RMC.
1999 In response to the initial threat of closure, Save San José
Medical Center Coalition (SSJMCC), composed of concerned faith-based,
labor, service and community organizations, was formed and now includes
over 80 member organizations.
Research revealed that Downtown/East San Jose is the single area of greatest
medical needs in our county.See box at right >>>>
SSJMCC engaged in
many activities to bring our goals and mission to the public. This resulted
in the San José City Council and the Santa Clara County Board of
Supervisors funding Henry W. Zaretsky & Associates, Inc. to do a Closure
Impact Study (CIS) which was completed November 2004. The CIS stated that
there was an urgent need for healthcare services downtown now and an increase
of 200 general acute care hospital beds by the years 2015/2020.
HCA closed SJMC the next month (December 2004). Soon after that Save San
José Medical Center Coalition changed its name to Coalition for
a Downtown Hospital (CoDH). The closure of SJMC greatly impacted other
hospitals in the county, particularly those closest to downtown and especially
Valley Medical Center.
CoDH continued to
promote and advocate for establishing needed medical services on the site
while HCA wanted to demolish and sell to the highest bidder. Although
HCA is the private owner of the property, the City Council stated that
they would not change the zoning, which is public/quasi public hospital,
at this time.
There now was agreement that the healthcare needs of our community was
a serious matter and several attempts were made to address this. The last
was the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) established by San José
City Council in April 2006, consisting of various concerned community
members interested in meeting the healthcare needs of the community and
the land owner.
November 2007 The final SAC recommendations were submitted to the
City Council. The healthcare aspect fell into three basic categories:
1) the need for primary care; 2) the need for urgent care facilities;
3) the formation of a City, County, stakeholders collaborative to work
on healthcare issues facing the Downtown and the City.
March 2008 The City Council accepted the report and directed staff to
to implement a plan that included: 1) The expansion of primary healthcare
services in the Downtown area that would service the entire population;
2) The expansion of urgent or extended-hours medical care; 3) The initiation
of the Joint City-County Health Care Planning Task Force to identify specific,
viable sites for possible future hospital development that would service
Downtown and North San Jose.
In discussions regarding the clinic service provider the Gardner Family
Health Network was considered a strong candidate.
Proposition Measure A passed providing for $790 million bond to rebuild
Valley Medical Center's non-compliant buildings, as well as $50 million
for new medical facilitates in Downtown San Jose to replace services lost
when the San Jose Medcial Center closed. The County began the necessary
process to ensure, to their sastisfaction , that the money is allocated
appropriately, that is identify a site that meets all of their criteria.
The good news is that the City and County are working together.
With the assurance of Measure A Funds and commitments from the Redevolpment
Agency and HCA, the City explored plans for renovation and purchase of
the 10 story Chavez Building adjacent to the SJMC site with the anticipation
that Gardner would begin providing the services.
2-25-09 HCA filed for a Planned Development Permit for SJMC demoliton
and it was approved
3-2-09 After much delay the Joint City/County Health Care Planning
Task Force had its first meeting. However, the discussion was diverted
and no progress was made regarding land site identification for a future
hospital, which we consider vital.
3-18-09 The County Health and Hospital Committtee approved the
process planning towards development of medical clinic faclities in Downtown
San José using funds from the Measure A bond.
3-24-09 The Santa Clara Board of Supervisors approved the Measure
A initial bond issuance of $350 million . It was verbally stated that
$20 million of that would be allocated for the development of medical
clinic services Downtown San José.
For the next several months the County staff explored possible appropriate
sites for the Downtown primary and urgent care clinics and rejected use
of the Chavez Building.
December 2009 In a surprise move the County Board of Supervisors
approved the purchase of the SJMC Site where clinic services will be provided.
Since then County staff has done their due diligence in identifying and
rectifying any toxcity on the site.
From January to April 2010 we have met several time with Supervisor
Shirskawa and staff to discuss specific issues related to the clinics
establishment. The plan is to renovate the Mediplex Building, 16th
St and Santa Clara. Necessary renovations and cost have been explored
as well as getting appropriate approval from OSHPOD (state agency for
medical facility oversite). Projection for completion is 2 years. The
Gardner Family Health Network is still being considered as the provider
for the primary care clinic.
3-30-10 Comunity meeting with Supervisor Shirakawa regarding demolition
plans for the SJMC Site which is planned for early June to November/December.
12-9-09 and 2-25-10 The reestablished City County Stakeholders
Hospital Committee met to explore with Planning Dept staff recommendations
for future hospital land designation that would service both Downtown
and North San Jose. The staff recommendation did not designate specific
sites but designated land use categories in which there were hospital
possibilites. This was presented to Envision San Jose 2040 at their 4-28-10
meeting. This was continued to the next Envision meeting in May.
3-22-10 Coalition for a Downtown Hospital presented recommendations
for a specific land use designation for a future hospital site overlay
along the Santa Clara and First Street Corridors through Downtown as well
as other Downtown sites with good adequate transportation.
We continue to meet with Councilperson Dist. 3 Sam Liccardo and County
Supervisor George Shirakawa as needed.
research revealed that Downtown/East San Jose is the single area
of greatest medical need in our county.
infant mortality rate.
Highest concentration of medically at-risk senior citizens.
Highest percentage of of low income residents.
SJMC's trauma center was one of three in the county.
Downtown projected to undergo the greatest population increase in
Santa Clara County in the next few years.
for a Downtown Hospital (formerly Save
the San José Medical Center Coalition)
Box 1852, San Jose CA 95109-1852 408-923-7001, Spanish
Coalition had organized numerous rallies, public testimonies, spoken at
many meetings and collected more than 10,000 signatures on petitions.
We met with City, County, State and Federal elected officials as well
as HCA representatives.
the closure of the hospital in 2004, the San José City Council,
the Santa Clara County Human Relations Commission, the Human Relations
Commission of San José, San Jose Mayors Ron Gonzales, as well as
many other organizations, had all called on HCA to keep the hospital open.