[March 28, 2019] MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Thousands of patients at five Bay Area medical clinics are in limbo after the new owner, El Camino Healthcare District, refused to retain 164 employees – just days before it takes control of the facilities April 1.
“The district is putting patients’ health at risk and raising serious doubts about its ability to safely manage these facilities,” said Rena Schwartzberg, a 29-year employee who is losing her job. “Right now, we don’t even know if these clinics will be open come April 1, and if they are, they will likely be staffed by a skeleton crew. It’s reprehensible that the district would let go quality employees who built trust among patients and have been caring for them, in some cases, as long as three decades.”
Of the 180 employees at the clinics who are members of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, only 16 are being retained by the El Camino Healthcare District, and its wholly owned subsidiary Silicon Valley Medical Development. Nearly half of the laid off workers are older than 50.
The affected clinics are being purchased from Verity Health and include the following:
On March 21, healthcare workers filed a ballot initiative for the November 2020 election to ensure voters have a say in the El Camino Healthcare District’s expansion plans, including its $1.27 million purchase of the five clinics outside district boundaries.
The El Camino Healthcare District includes most of Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills; a large portion of Sunnyvale, and small sections of Cupertino, Santa Clara and Palo Alto. It is governed by a publicly elected or appointed board of five members.