Calexico Hospital board unveils names of prospective medical service tenants

May 03, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — The names of tenants with whom the Heffernan Memorial Hospital District board is negotiating to provide medical services were revealed Wednesday at the board's meeting.

One of the possible tenants is Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo Inc., a group of nine community health care centers in the area.

According to Henry Legaspi, administrative assistant to the district board, Clinicas would operate an urgent-care center at the closed Calexico Hospital building during the hours Clinicas' other Calexico location on Cole Road is closed.

Another possible tenant named was Dr. Leroy Brown of Indio.

Brown runs a rural care facility in the Coachella Valley and said he would consider starting a similar operation in Calexico.


Brown would operate X-ray equipment and is looking to establish a full acute-care hospital in the Calexico area in the future.

Legaspi, on direction from the board, told Brown he would have to work as an "independent contractor" and not a contract employee of the hospital district.

Brown told the board he would be willing to do that, according to Legaspi.

The names of the other three tenants that Legaspi has talked to were not revealed at the public meeting.

One of the unnamed tenants might provide services in a part of the building if the other tenants are successful.

The other tenant was interested in opening a physical rehabilitation facility but wasn't enthralled with the hospital building, Legaspi said.

The third unnamed tenant has talked with Legaspi about operating a clinic in a trailer on district property.

After the update on the status of negotiations, the district trustees discussed how much money the district should or could subsidize tenants who want to work in the Calexico Hospital.

Chairwoman Norma Apodaca said, "We have to provide something to bring people here."

Trustee Mark Perrone said the district should use any money available as an "enticement" and dole out remaining funds as long as the tenants perform according to a contract.

Trustee Ray Falcon said the board should not be advertising it has $200,000 to give a prospective tenant.

"We can tell them we can help," Falcon said. "If we tell them we have $200,000, they are going to need $200,000."

Legaspi asked: "What would be your intention to do with the rest of the money?"

Falcon stressed he wants the money to go to provide medical services but thinks the board could "fall flat on its face" if it gave someone a check up front on the assumption of services.

Legaspi said giving someone a check up front was never his intention. He said the $200,000 should be used to provide indigent care service and any money given to a prospective tenant would be to offset costs in providing that service.

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419.

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