Changes in California Health Care Saying Goodbye to Paradise Valley Hospital

In 1904 when founders established the sanitarium that would eventually become Paradise Valley Hospital (PVH), life was dramatically different compared to today. The average person's life expectancy was a mere 47.6 years, and after heart disease, he or she would most likely die from tuberculosis, influenza or pneumonia. There were no telephones, no TVs, no radios and no cars.* The entire landscape of life would be unrecognizable to modern eyes.

It is much the same picture in health care. Though tremendous medical advances have emerged in the last century, health care as an industry has traveled a tenuous path.

In the last 100 years, medical researchers discovered penicillin, invented pacemakers and created vaccines for many deadly childhood diseases. In the last decade, they reduced breast cancer mortality rates, expanded medical imaging capabilities and even transplanted a human face.

In California, however, those advances have met increased hardship, decreased funding and many tough financial situations.

Difficult Decisions

From 1996 to 2006, more than 80 California hospitals closed their doors, according to the California Hospital Association. In order to keep one more door from closing, Adventist Health faced its own tough financial situation head-on and made the decision to sell one of its hospitals.

As of March 1, 2007, ownership of Paradise Valley Hospital, a 301-bed acute care facility in National City, Calif., transferred to Prime Healthcare Service, (PHS) Inc.

"For the past several years, PVH sustained substantial losses," said Robert G. Carmen, Adventist Health president-elect and former board chair of the Southern California facility. "As many industry and market forces impacted our ability to continue our mission, Adventist Health's board of directors voted to sell this hospital."

"Adventist Health has taken the most responsible action available by transferring PVH to a new owner who will continue its operations and invest in its future," added Carmen.

Continuing the Mission of Health Care

A for-profit health care management company, PHS pledged to maintain all existing patient care services including the Emergency Department and the current levels of charity care at the hospital.

"Prime will continue to operate the hospital under the same long running tradition of community service established by Adventist Health over 100 years ago," said Prem Reddy, M.D., PHS board chair.

The sales agreement, approved by the California Attorney General, included the main physical plant, sitting on more than 30 acres in San Diego's South Bay, as well as the Bayview Behavioral Health Campus and South Bay Rehabilitation Center.

Adventist Health intends to maintain a presence in the community by continuing to operate home care services in Bonita. In addition, plans will continue with Generations, Inc. for Paradise Village, a senior living community adjacent to the existing campus.

"Adventist Health is incredibly proud of the Paradise Valley Hospital legacy of service," said Donald R. Ammon, Adventist Health president and CEO. "We look forward to continuing that legacy through our home care services and senior living community."

*Historical statistics courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau

June 01, 2007 / Adventist Health