Improved Emergency Services Launch at Mee Memorial Hospital

King City, CA, Nov. 22, 2019 — King City’s Mee Memorial Hospital has launched improved emergency services in partnership with Vituity (www.vituity.com), a leading emergency services provider based in Emeryville, California.

The new partnership is in response to community survey results showing a desire for faster and higher quality emergency department care, with a better patient experience. The transformation of the emergency department with Vituity is a key part of Mee’s mission, vision, and strategic plan to provide the highest quality healthcare for South Monterey County.

Vituity is a multispecialty physician-owned and led partnership that specializes in providing acute care services with an emphasis on improving clinical quality, efficiency, and the patient experience. It was founded in 1975 by emergency care doctors in Northern California under the name California Emergency Physicians.

Vituity now serves more than 300 practice locations across the United States, including Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, French Hospital in San Luis Obispo, and Arroyo Grande Hospital in Arroyo Grande. The group also manages three trauma centers and four of the largest emergency departments in metro Los Angeles and has the largest emergency care presence in Southern California.

As of Nov. 15, Vituity is providing emergency room services at Mee Memorial Hospital at 300 Canal St., King City.

About Mee Memorial Hospital

Mee Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit community hospital and is the primary health care resource for residents of Southern Monterey County.

The 73-bed hospital is the core of the Mee Memorial Medical System. Also included are comprehensive medical clinics in King City and in Greenfield.

About Vituity

“As a physician-led and -owned multispecialty partnership, Vituity has proactively driven positive change in the business and practice of healthcare for nearly 50 years. Our more than 3,500 doctors and clinicians provide a wide range of integrated acute care expertise. Serving over 6.4 million patients annually at more than 300 practice locations, our footprint continues to rapidly expand across the country as we partner with and support hospitals, health systems, clinics, payers, and employers. Vituity’s acute focus and compassionate care are the driving forces that have placed us at the heart of better care.”

“Our services span the entire acute care continuum, including emergency medicine, acute psychiatry, acute neurology, hospital medicine, critical care, anesthesiology, acute care surgery, telehealth, post-acute care, and outpatient medicine.”

Mee Memorial Appoints New Interim CEO

King City, CA, Nov. 1, 2019 — R. Michael Hutchinson, the Interim Chief Executive Officer of Mee Memorial Healthcare System, will complete his service with Mee on Nov. 15. Succeeding Mr. Hutchinson as Interim CEO will be the current Chief Operating Officer, Rena Salamacha.

Mr. Hutchinson began his term as Interim CEO in August of 2018.

“Mike led the organization during a time of significant challenges and together we have made progress on improving financial health and enhancing services, which has included the recent expansion of the Greenfield Medical Clinic,” said Michael Howard, Chair of Mee Memorial’s Board of Trustees. “We thank him for his service and wish him the best in his retirement.”

New Interim CEO Rena Salamacha joined Mee Memorial as the Director of Information Technology 10 years ago. Since then she has also filled executive roles as the Chief Information Officer and Chief Strategy and Technology officer.

“I’m grateful for this new opportunity to work with our dedicated Mee team on improving health outcomes and access to affordable, high quality care,” said Ms. Salamacha. “It’s a privilege to work with all the people at Mee and our partner organizations who care so deeply for the health and well-being of our community.”

Before coming to Mee Memorial, Ms. Salamacha spent nine years in finance and information technology roles in healthcare. She has a Master’s degree in Management and Systems with a concentration in Leadership and Strategy from New York University and a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology from the University of Phoenix, and is pursuing a Doctorate in Healthcare Administration through Capella University.

During coming months the Board of Trustees will work on making a permanent CEO appointment.

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Mee Memorial Healthcare System Reduces Staff Size To Adapt To Changes In Healthcare

King City, CA, JULY 19, 2019 — In an effort to reduce financial vulnerabilities and keep essential services in the community, Mee Memorial healthcare system has implemented a reduction in force affecting 43 out of its total 353 current employees. The decision was made after months of review and implementation of other cost savings measures, including eliminating or revising many operating contracts for services provided.

“This is a painful event, first and foremost for the affected employees, but also for all of us at Mee,” said Michael Hutchinson, Mee Memorial’s CEO. “These are good people who will be missed. Unfortunately, we are forced to make this hard choice in order to adapt to changing needs in healthcare, so we can continue to adjust structure and services to meet the health care needs of the South County community.”

Mee Memorial is attempting to better align staffing and operations with its pending designation as a Critical Access Hospital, a program started in 1997 in response to a string of rural hospital closures. Critical Access designation is designed to reduce financial vulnerability of rural hospitals and improve access to healthcare by keeping essential services in rural communities, in part, through cost-based reimbursements by Medicare.

In addition to reducing staff, Mee Memorial has also attempted to streamline its operations by reducing the types of services provided, including discontinuing staffing for the intensive care unit and eliminating orthopedic services.

“Small rural hospitals like ours are facing difficult challenges, including decreases in Medicare, Medi-Cal and other payor reimbursements, unreliable government funding and legislative delays, sometimes resulting in reimbursement delays for services years after they are provided. We have no choice but to react to lower volumes, lower reimbursement rates and to address the impacts of the transition to electronic medical records,” said Hutchinson. “We are currently overstaffed and need to reduce our employee numbers in order to come in line with other small rural hospitals, and to ensure we are offering efficient and sustainable care to our patients and community.”

These and other steps will ensure the organization operates efficiently. Like other U.S. healthcare systems, Mee Memorial faces a collection of financial challenges, including:

  • Reductions in reimbursement by private and public insurers
  • Proposed cuts to Medicare and Medi-Cal
  • Rising costs, including for advancing medical and operational technologies
  • Increasing competition and declining patient admissions.

“In light of the difficulties facing systems like ours, changes are necessary in order to ensure we are operating at our most efficient going forward”, said Hutchinson. “As hard as it is to make a change like this, it is what is in the best interest of the organization to ensure the future of Mee Memorial as a vital service to the community,” said Hutchinson.

The impacted employees were given 30 days’ notice, with a final day of employment on August 18, 2019. Administration intends to reach out to local health care providers and other employers to facilitate communications regarding available positions.

The nonprofit Mee Memorial Healthcare System operates Mee Memorial Hospital in King City, plus three clinics in King City and one in Greenfield.

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Michael Hutchinson, CEO (831) 385-7129, (831) 537-7398 cell