News/Press Releases

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

George L. Mee Memorial Hospital Was Awarded 2.5 Million by Central California Alliance for Health for Expansion of Greenfield clinic

Susan & Jim option II

King City, CA. (Feb 12, 2018) – Mee Memorial Hospital is pleased to announce it has received a $2.5 million grant from the Central California Alliance for Health. These funds will support the expansion of MMH’s Greenfield Clinic. A critical need, the project will allow the Greenfield Clinic to expand capacity of outpatient primary care services. The existing 7,000 square foot facility will increase by 6,091 square feet with an interior renovation of the existing reception, waiting, and public restroom areas.

Mee Memorial’s Greenfield Clinic is one of the busiest in Southern Monterey County. The clinic’s patient volumes have increased significantly over the past few years, and many patients and families lack access to quality health care services. To continue to meet the community’s growing demand for medical care, MMH will begin construction to expand and renovate this spring.

“We are honored to have been awarded this grant from CCAH. With the new grant, Mee Memorial will be better able to support local efforts to coordinate care and provide better outcomes for patients throughout our community,” said Susan Childers, CEO, Mee Memorial Hospital.

The Alliance established the Medi-Cal Capacity Grant Program in July 2015 in response to the rapid expansion of the Medi-Cal population as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Central California Alliance for Health offer grants to local organizations to support efforts to increase the availability, quality and access of health care and supportive services for Medi-Cal members in Merced, Monterey, and Santa Cruz counties.