Our Community’s Health Care District Board is entering a time of new priorities for the oversight of the health and well-being of the residents of our island community.
More than ever, our District must vigilantly advocate for all of the health needs of our community. Our Alameda Health Care District Board of Directors recently relinquished fiduciary control of Alameda Hospital over to the Alameda Health System (AHS). This new System – centered out of Oakland’s Highland Hospital – now has oversight responsibility for day-to-day operations issues at the hospital. Our Board must insist on, must defend, must support – more than ever before – funding of our health priorities throughout the island – and not just direct care provided at our hospital – but vigilant representation of all of OUR community’s health needs – insuring WE control funds collected from OUR property taxes and WE receive the community benefit from the tax exempt status of our community hospital. Our overarching guiding principle should be health equity – across all of our island communities – with equal attention to the well being of our multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-situational populations – and not overlooking the impact of our rapidly growing built environment nor access to important women’s reproductive health services, mental health services, senior services and essential environmental and public health services.
As a doctor of public health, I want you to know I have an underlying creed in my professional and volunteer work – I see health as much more than the absence of illness – I see it as community well-being – I see it as health equity for all islanders.
Our Health Care District Board must prioritize all of the health needs of our community – not just the direct medical care needs. We must move from a medical care focus to a community well-being focus. The overarching mission of the health care district needs to shift to a broader set of oversight areas:
– partnering with Alameda Health System to provide equitable and sustainable direct care health services.
central to this partnership is our district advocating for the continued existence of the hospital as a central part of the fabric of our healthy community.
– leading our community’s city governance and local businesses in successful partnerships with our community residents to seek not just the absence of illness but a true building of community well-being.