[Feb. 27, 2018] POMONA, Calif. – U.S. Rep. Norma Torres (D-Pomona), Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, State Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) and Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona) joined a growing coalition supporting a Pomona ballot initiative for the November 2018 election that seeks to reduce patient infections at area hospitals, including one that was penalized last year by the federal government.
“It has always been my goal to ensure Inland Empire residents receive the highest quality health care,” said Torres. “By investing in our hospital workforce through increasing staffing levels and raising the minimum wage, this ballot initiative will help our hospitals deliver high-quality care in a clean, safe environment. I urge my fellow residents to support its passage.”
Pomona City Councilmember Robert Torres previously endorsed the ballot initiative, as did the Latino Roundtable of the San Gabriel Valley and Pomona Valley and the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center.
The ballot initiative would affect Casa Colina Hospital and Pomona Valley Hospital. If hospital-acquired infections are worse than the national standard, they would be required to increase housekeeping staff hours by 20 percent until the hospitals comply for three consecutive years. To retain quality employees, the ballot measure would also increase the hospitals’ minimum wage to $18 an hour in January 2019.
The number of patients acquiring infections at Pomona Valley Hospital has been so high that Medicare penalized it last year. From Jan. 1, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2016, Pomona Valley Hospital reported 301 cases of patients acquiring Clostridium difficile (C. diff.), a contagious infection that causes severe diarrhea, fever and nausea. Data is not publicly available for Casa Colina Hospital.
Organizers need to collect the signatures of approximately 6,458 registered Pomona voters before May 1 to qualify the measure for the Nov. 6 election.