What’s Up With the CR Campus/Hospital?

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Dear Editor,

I’m writing on behalf of the Healthcare District (SHCHD) Board to answer some questions I’ve heard about the plans to purchase College of the Redwood’s (CR’s) instructional site on Sprowl Creek Road. People have asked, given the School Board’s (SHUSD’s) recent decision, will we still be able to build our new hospital there. We’re confident the answer to that question is “yes”, and here’s why.

When the SHUSD sold the property to CR several years ago, their purchase agreement contained a provision which allowed them the option of buying it back if CR chose to sell it within the first 10 years. The price they would pay was CR’s purchase price plus what CR had invested in improvements within a specified number of years, less depreciation.

The School Board decided not to waive their option at this time, and our belief is that the majority of the board members voted as they did not to thwart the Healthcare District’s hospital plans but to help our community make the best use of this property for our long-term health and educational needs. Regrettably, no Healthcare District representatives were at the School Board meeting to answer their questions as they decided on the best course of action, so the School Board wisely decided not to take the irrevocable step of forfeiting their repurchase rights. Our Healthcare District representatives are taking steps to share information with School Board members about this important community issue.

Would it be prudent to wait until the cost of the property is reduced by scheduled depreciation? Has the Healthcare District offered to pay too much?

We’ve all heard the adage “time is money”. Hospital construction is especially expensive, and those costs generally go up by about 2% per year. The cost of the new facility is estimated in the neighborhood of $45 million, so every year of delay could mean additional costs of $900,000 or more.

Interest rates will also be a huge factor in overall costs. Right now interest rates are at a historic low, so we want to lock in an interest rate on a building loan application ASAP. This can’t happen until we’ve entered escrow on a building site. If a delay resulted in even slightly higher interest, it would raise our monthly payments by tens of thousands of dollars and our overall project cost by millions.

Where can the activities currently occurring at the CR site be housed in the future? The Healthcare District recognizes the importance of educational and cultural enrichment opportunities in overall community health, and we will do all we can to facilitate these activities, initially by allowing them to continue to rent space in the Sprowl Creek building, and eventually to move to our current Cedar Street location if any space there is not needed for healthcare needs. We see the Redwood Playhouse as a community treasure, both architecturally and culturally, and we are committed to maintaining it for the uses it currently serves and more.

There are many questions still to be answered, many planning decisions to be made, and many important choices on which we will be seeking community input in the coming months and years. All of us on the Healthcare District Board look forward to public forums and workshops beginning in early 2017 at which we can continue this conversation.

In the meantime, we welcome your questions and wish you all happy holidays!

Barbara Truitt, President

Governing Board

Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District



  • If the Healthcare District ends up buying this property will that put an end to the BS property tax assessment we’re paying every year for this CR white elephant?

  • What about the community school that is currently in the old building? Will they have to move?

    • hardtonotsaysomethingsarcastic

      Read the article?

      “….facilitate these activities, (currently occurring at the site), initially by allowing them to continue to rent space in the Sprowl Creek building, and eventually to move to our current Cedar Street location if any space there is not needed for healthcare needs….”

      Sounds a little murky at the end move (school) to cedar St location …” IF any space there is NOT needed for medical use…”

  • I commend all parties in the measures and respectful handling of these complicated negotiations.
    It is a process that will address all our needs in the community.
    I look forward to the future both in medical and educational opportunities here.

  • White elephant indeed! The CR building is not large enough to be a hospital, and it will most likely be demolished if building is to go on. The site itself seems prime, but is unlikely to be large enough in the long run. The Hospital District as it is, just staggers on from year to year and never really changes their message, their methods or their few long term cast members. It IS regretteble no one from SHCHD was organised enough to attend the SHCSD meeting. Great job!

    Real hospitals exist when their business is run profitably. There are organizations capable of doing this, but SHCHD is not one of them. The idea that SHCHD can build a project of this kind and then run it is perfectly ridiculous. Even the purchase of the site proposed is beyond the means of SHCHD, on it’s best day, loans or not.

    Tiny district hospitals in remote locations must be supported by the funds of the public, and most of them operate daily by the exploitation and abuse of low-paid staff and the staff’s misguided dedication. For any facility as mismanaged and broke as SHCHD to actually try to sell the idea that they will be able to secure $45,000,000 in financing is quite amusing. Two years ago, Gary Wellborn told me that they were “just keeping the doors open”. Now Barbara is saying that we need to move quickly to avoid higher payments.

    My question is: who, in their most sober moment, believes that SHCHD can afford anything like this, and why should any thinking person buy the idea that any part of this project could float in the long run?

    Adventist Health could build it, but in the end, no one at a profitable healthcare company would ever commit to an undertaking of this size in a town like Garberville. It just won’t pay.

    Anyone would tell you, getting bigger is nice, but it raises your costs. If you already can’t cover your costs, or staff your facility, even, don’t do it. You will end up with another empty building, and not much else.

    The best plan here is to run the clinic, start an urgent care, keep the SNF. Forget having a hospital. Close the ER. Send the labwork out. Run it like a business instead of a club.

    Above all, SHCHD board, stop pretending that you or your facility will ever evolve, and please don’t think that the population of your geographic region supports you or has any interest at all in your little ER/clinic.

  • Unqualified board members with out the knowledge to even take on such a project .I’m sure expensive consultants are next .We will get hosed . All this for Rent A doc’s .They already gave 12 million to Harry Jasper for working four weeks a month and having to quit rather than get fired for his conflicts in selling the hospital his co services

  • The fact that the voters of the healthcare district have approved the parcel tax seems to show that he majority find the Hospital/Clinic is needed. The fact is ambulances are not allowed to take patients to urgent care centers. Urgent care centers are no appointment clinics not hospitals. You may be up for an extra hour’s ride to a real E.R.but most of us like having the service available here. I have used the E.R. services a number of times with a good outcome every time. The district is facing an expensive earthquake retro fit that many hospitals in California will, by law, have to comply with. There is plenty of room behind the existing CR building. Having served on the board of the district in the past I am encouraged that current board and administration are taking a pro active approach to the future of healthcare here in southern humboldt. There is a reason the State of California has designated our hospital a Critical Access Hospital. We are the only E.R. between Willits and Fortuna.

  • “Real ER”, your words.

    Air ambulances are operated by crack nurses with top quality equipment, training and abilities. They will fly you to the best available care, and the insurance is about $150.00/year. Take my word for it, after 40 years in health care and a year spent working at JPH, escape from Humboldt, and Southern Humboldt in particular, may extend your life considerably.

    If your life is in immediate danger, JPH cannot save you, and the minutes wasted by going there could well be your last.

    If your trimsients are bleeding from scissor cuts, on the other hand, well, walk right in and bring a wad of cash.

  • Actually the air service is half the price if you buy through your local fire dept .We have two helicopter services that cost 75 dollars .If you love life by pass this emergency room and head south .Numerous miss diagnosis .Stanford wont even allow them to do blood tests .This is a Joke of a hospital 35 years here and nothing but horror stories .Save your life and head south .

    • Some years back an air ambulance service flew in to Garberville Airport. They were on their way to make a presentation to the folks at Shelter Cove. They had tried to land at the cove but couldn’t find a hole in the overcast and landed at Garberville. I picked them up and drove them out to the cove. A couple of things you should know. They will not respond if the weather is bad. They will not respond unless they are are contacted by emergency personnel. And the first thing they do as the call comes in is dispatch a ground ambulance in case they can’t make it. You will be charged for the ground ambulance regardless. The folks from Redding were very honest and upfront about their capabilities. In the case of Shelter Cove they recommended a lighted LZ up at the intersection of the Kings Range Rd. above the fog.

  • That 45 million was just a rough estimate to build the hospital not the real actual cost .This is all started by an outsider that’s been here a short time and has no history of our community or the population another out side croney .How much are they paying this guy ?.Harry jasper was paid 800 hundred thousand a year to run that place and it’s still a failure .Barbra Truit has no qualifcations to make decisions for a laundry mat let alone the Hospital

    • I like your post, but Harry was paid $180,000/year. He was rather disingenuous however. Barb Truitt is a nice lady, with some vision. I am sure she is qualified to choose laundry mats.

  • If you guys had any balls you’d stop hiding behind your cutsey fake names and tell us who you really are. Otherwise you’re just another gutless troll. Your opinions aint worth much if you can’t summon up the nerve to put a name with it. Serving on local boards is already a thankless job without anon. crybabies sniping from the peanut gallery.

    • The last words of Steve Jobs –
      I have come to the pinnacle of success in business.
      In the eyes of others, my life has been the symbol of success.
      However, apart from work, I have little joy. Finally, my wealth is simply a fact to which I am accustomed.
      At this time, lying on the hospital bed and remembering all my life, I realize that all the accolades and riches of which I was once so proud, have become insignificant with my imminent death.
      In the dark, when I look at green lights, of the equipment for artificial respiration and feel the buzz of their mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of my approaching death looming over me.
      Only now do I understand that once you accumulate enough money for the rest of your life, you have to pursue objectives that are not related to wealth.
      It should be something more important:
      For example, stories of love, art, dreams of my childhood.
      No, stop pursuing wealth, it can only make a person into a twisted being, just like me.
      God has made us one way, we can feel the love in the heart of each of us, and not illusions built by fame or money, like I made in my life, I cannot take them with me.
      I can only take with me the memories that were strengthened by love.
      This is the true wealth that will follow you; will accompany you, he will give strength and light to go ahead.
      Love can travel thousands of miles and so life has no limits. Move to where you want to go. Strive to reach the goals you want to achieve. Everything is in your heart and in your hands.
      What is the world’s most expensive bed? The hospital bed.
      You, if you have money, you can hire someone to drive your car, but you cannot hire someone to take your illness that is killing you.
      Material things lost can be found. But one thing you can never find when you lose: life.
      Whatever stage of life where we are right now, at the end we will have to face the day when the curtain falls.
      Please treasure your family love, love for your spouse, love for your friends…
      Treat everyone well and stay friendly with your neighbours.

  • Whatever. Property owner/taxpayer, former SHCHD employee (one of hundreds), district resident 5 years. Should be enough ID for you. Open forum, say what you like, and if you don’t care for it, don’t read it. Oh and working at SHCHD is a very thankless job.

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