Palm Drive hires consultants to help with affiliation talks

SEBASTOPOL – Palm Drive Hospital has brought on two well-known health care veterans to help the 37-bed facility chart its course through affiliation talks with larger health care organizations, a move most view as key to its financial stability.

The Palm Drive Healthcare District Board of Directors unanimously agreed to bring on Walter Kopp, a former Sutter executive, and Richard Loos, who has advised Palm Drive on other matters, as consultants. Their goal will be to identify what the Sebastopol hospital wants or needs out of any potential affiliation with a larger organization, said board President Nancy Dobbs.

“They’ll work quickly and give us some framework for a discussion,” Ms. Dobbs said.

Consensus has emerged from the Palm Drive board that it will continue to struggle as a stand-alone hospital, and it has sought to align itself with a larger entity in a yet-to-be determined capacity, said board member Chris Dawson. The two consultants will help determine that capacity, Mr. Dawson said.

Adventist Health, which operates a St. Helena Region that includes hospitals from Vallejo to Lake County, has been in affiliation talks with Palm Drive since June.

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