Marijke Rowland

June 3, 2013

TURLOCK NOW: Emanuel sale gets public approval

Mandatory public forum on Emanuel Medical Center sale gets thumbs up.

The public, it seems, really likes the sale of Emanuel Medical Center to Tenet Healthcare Corp.

After more than an hour delay, the assembled crowd of about 50 at a state attorney-mandated public hearing on the $131 million sales sang the praises of the transaction. About 10 speakers, including an official representative from both Tenet and Emanuel, addressed the meeting.

Speaker after speaker came up to praise Emanuel and its place in the community. Many in attendance worked at the hospital, from nurses to doctors and department directors. Other speakers in favor of the sale included Turlock Vice Mayor Bill DeHart (reading a letter from Mayor John Lazar), Modesto City Schools board member Ruben Villalobos (who is also on the Tenet-owned Doctors Medical Center governing board) and NAACP Stanislaus Stanislaus Branch President Frank Johnson.

Beth Adams, a fifth generation Emanuel employee who has spent the last 37 years there as a registered nurse, said even though change can be frightening, moving forward will be good for the hospital. She is approaching the deal with “optimism, hope and curiosity”

“It’s tempting to get sentimental and nostalgic and dramatic as possible. It’s just more fun,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the resources, structure and encouragement to find new ways to tackle old problems and new ones we haven’t thought of before. I think we are going to be OK.”

The only inharmonious hiccup from the meeting was the delay, caused by the failure to secure a state-mandated court reporter to transcribe the entire meeting. Representatives from the District Attorney’s office waited as Emanuel and Tenet staff scrambled to find court reporter last-minute. Once once was found and made it to Turlock, the meeting could finally commence an hour and nine minutes late.

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