District 5 February 2020 Newsletter

Article Source:  San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa

February 2020 e-newsletter

Join us at a town hall to discuss the future of Seton hospital

Dear friends,

As uncertainty looms over the sale of Seton Medical Center, I am convening a town hall meeting Saturday, Feb. 8, 10 a.m. at Daly City Hall Chambers with panelists including members of the California Nurses Association, hospital and city administrators, and elected officials to discuss the future of the hospital.

Negotiations have appeared to stall between Verity Health, which owns Seton, and KPC Health, which emerged in bankruptcy court as the buyer for four hospitals previously owned by the Daughters of Charity including Seton Coastside in Moss Beach. The deal was supposed to close Dec. 5, 2019 but now we are in February.

I simply cannot rest until Seton has a new operator.

In mid-January, I sent letters to 20 hospital operators and foundations urging them to take interest in the health care needs of some of the county’s most vulnerable patients. I have had direct talks with many, including Stanford Health Care and Dignity Health, in an effort to attract a buyer.

Attorney General Kamala Harris originally approved the sale of the Daughters of Charity hospitals in December 2015 to a hedge fund called BlueMountain Capital Management. BlueMountain rebranded the system Verity and created Integrity Healthcare to manage the system. Integrity is owned by billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, who owns the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Lakers.

The AG’s conditions of approval included that Seton must continue to operate as an acute care hospital and offer emergency services for 10 years until 2025.  

Verity filed for bankruptcy Aug. 31, 2018. My office then formed a bi-county working group with stakeholders from San Francisco and San Mateo counties with a sole effort to save the hospital.

San Mateo County granted $25 million in patient care to Seton and pledged an additional $15 million toward seismic upgrades since 2015. The Health Plan of San Mateo, which I chair, loaned Seton an additional $20 million in 2017 for patient care.

My office has worked hard to ensure north county residents receive the quality health care they deserve and that Seton’s staff of 1,200 continue to provide that care.

Please join us at the town hall so that your voices are heard loud and clear that Seton must remain open. RSVP to Ann Keighran by phone at (650) 599-1007 or by email at akeighran@smcgov.org.

Master Plan for Aging to address the ‘Forgotten Middle Class’

Did you know that 62 percent of individuals 65 or older in San Mateo County are considered the “Hidden Poor?”

I’m introducing a resolution at the Feb. 11 Board of Supervisors meeting to encourage the state to incorporate the needs of middle-income seniors when developing the Master Plan for Aging, which Gov. Newsom created by executive order to assess the reality and magnitude of the needs of older adults. The plan is expected to be finalized by October of this year.

The reality is that in California high-income older adults have greater financial resources to care for themselves while low-income older adults may be eligible for Medi-Cal long-term services and support in addition to subsidized services. Middle-income older adults, however, have too many financial assets to qualify for Medi-Cal but don’t always have enough income to cover housing and support needs as their health and functional well-being change as they age.

The San Mateo County Commission on Aging formed the “Middle Income Senior Opportunities” committee to identify the eligibility gap for older adults who need assistance pay for housing, transportation, food, health care and long-term care but do not qualify for it because their income is above the Federal Poverty Level. Since the cost of living is much higher in California than say Iowa, for instance, the Federal Poverty Level does not factor in the higher costs of rent, health care and transportation that California residents face. As I represent the Commission on Aging to the Board of Supervisors, I have worked closely with this committed group including launching the county’s Age-Friendly Cities initiative.

We are excited by the governor’s efforts to recognize that the state is rapidly aging. By 2030, there will be 9 million individuals in California 65 or older while there are 6 million today.

The Master Plan on Aging will lead to a better future for residents living in the state by creating programs that acknowledge and embrace aging instead of ignoring it. It will also address the reality and magnitude of the “Forgotten Middle Class.”

To learn more about the California Health and Human Services Agency’s Master Plan for Aging click here.

April 1 is Census Day

As co-chair of the county’s Census 2020 efforts, I am happy to say that our Office of Community Affairs (OCA) is starting to conduct extensive outreach to highlight the importance of the Census and why each resident needs to be counted as Census Day approaches April 1.

If your community is undercounted, low-income areas would lose federal funding for textbooks, school supplies and food for students, which aid children in meeting academic standards, according to the OCA.

Most residents will get an invitation to respond online to the 2020 Census starting March 12. Some households will also receive paper questionnaires and reminder letters will be sent out March 16. If you haven’t responded by March 26, you will receive a reminder postcard. If you haven’t responded by April 8, you will get a reminder letter and paper questionnaire in the mail. Starting April 20, a final reminder postcard will be sent before Census workers start to follow up in person.

Stay tuned, next month’s newsletter will highlight a Census event my office will hold at Jefferson High School on March 28.

Click here to learn more about San Mateo County’s Census 2020 efforts.

Teacher housing coming to Daly City
The Jefferson Union High School District will break ground on its faculty and staff housing project in February. It’s the first voter-approved general obligation bond to fund teacher housing in the nation. With soaring rents and low pay, many teachers in the district simply cannot afford to live near the schools they work at.  

The district is planning to construct 122 apartments with 59 one-bedroom, 56 two-bedroom and 7 three-bedroom units. The units will be rented for about 50 percent of market rate at the time of occupancy and will be located on the district’s Serramonte Del Rey property at 699 Serramonte Blvd. The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2021 at the earliest.

Voters approved Measure J in June 2018 that authorizes $33 million in bond funds. The cost of construction is expected to be about $61 million and the district will secure a loan to fund the rest of the project that will be paid back by future rent payments. Once the loan is paid off, rents could be used by the district for educational purposes, including salaries.

Teachers and staff who work at any of the district’s high schools, including Jefferson, Westmoor, Thornton and Adult-Ed in Daly City and Oceana and Terra Nova in Pacifica will be eligible to rent the new units.

I have had the pleasure to discuss this project in recent weeks with board trustees Kalimah Salahuddin and Andrew Lie. The district plans to redevelop the former Serramonte High School campus with a mix of market rate and affordable housing with some commercial and open space to be built in phases over several years.

Be great, help us legislate

Do you have a policy proposal or an idea for a law that would improve your community? We are looking for legislative ideas from constituents that could either apply to the city you live in, the county, the state or even the federal government. Feel free to point out any laws you think should be repealed. Have your voice heard. Please send ideas to tbayudan@smcgov.org.

Interns wanted to join our team
We are looking to add to our great group of interns we are currently working with. If you or someone you know may be interested in applying to my Internship Program, submitting this form is the first step: https://forms.gle/hiKqtn7Rird5vXwB9. You can also reach out to Mike Richardson on my staff directly with any questions at mrichardson@smcgov.org.
Friday office hours
Over the past few months we have been holding office hours in District 5 on Fridays to better serve our constituents at Daly City Hall, in San Bruno and Broadmoor Village.

If you would like to meet to discuss district issues with myself or my staff in north San Mateo County, reach out to Tony Bayudan in my office to schedule an appointment (650) 363-4565.

In friendship,

David J. Canepa


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