Community united against removal of care units from St. Luke’s Hospital

By : missionlocal – excerpt

Appalling, outrageous, inhumane, unacceptable, heartbreaking, tragic were all words that doctors, nurses and families of patients used on Wednesday to describe the closing of the skilled nursing and sub-acute units at St. Luke’s Hospital.

The remarks were made at a hearing in front of the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee meeting. It’s unclear if Board of Supervisors can prevent California Pacific Medical Center from closing the beds – a move that would impact 44 patients – but it was clear that the supervisors will try.

The units slated for closure care for patients with extreme health needs, such as patients requiring inhalation therapy or intravenous tube feeding. Closing the units means that the most vulnerable patients would have to be transferred to locations outside San Francisco, according to those who testified at the hearing.

“We now have no sub-acute beds in San Francisco,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen, a co-sponsor of the hearing with Supervisor Ahsha Safai.

This means that patients with extreme health needs whose families live in San Francisco cannot receive care in San Francisco.

A speaker from the Department of Public Health said the city’s population is aging and if there is no change in the number of acute care units, there will only be 12 beds available per 12,000 people in the near future.

With an aging population the number of skilled nursing and sub-acute beds in hospitals should be increasing. However, the speaker from the Department of Public Health said that there is an “overall decline in skilled nursing beds.”…

 

“Patients are in jeopardy,” said Jane Sandoval, a registered nurse that has worked at St. Luke’s for 32 years. Moving them would mean moving them away from their families and support networks and from the nurses that they already know and trust. All the families are very happy with the service they have received at St. Luke’s and don’t want to move from there… (more)

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New SF supe Ronen moves to protect Latino businesses in Mission

By J. K. Dineen : sfchronicle – excerpt

New businesses looking to open within the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District in San Francisco’s Mission would face stricter zoning regulations under legislation authored by new Supervisor Hillary Ronen.

The city’s efforts to protect the Mission’s historic Latino business district from displacement and gentrification would be strengthened under legislation to be introduced Tuesday by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and new Supervisor Hillary Ronen.

The legislation — Ronen’s first bill after taking her place on the board — would impose zoning regulations on new businesses looking to open within the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District, which is bordered by Mission and Potrero streets to the west and east, and 22nd and Cesar Chavez streets to the north and south.

Businesses would be required to obtain a conditional-use authorization — an extra layer of scrutiny that can take six to nine months — in two situations:

•When seeking to merge two or more separate storefronts that, when combined, total more than 799 square feet.

•When replacing a space previously occupied by a city-designated “legacy business” — one that has been in operation for at least 30 years and has made significant contributions to the neighborhood…

“We are trying to articulate what type of businesses will help enhance and strengthen the cultural district, as opposed to disrupting the neighborhood and creating further displacement,” Ronen said.

The Calle 24 Latino Cultural District was established in 2014 as longtime Latino businesses were being squeezed out to make room for high-end restaurants and cafes. Lee’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development worked with Ronen’s predecessor, Supervisor David Campos, to bolster the district through special zoning. Before being elected, Ronen was an aide to Campos…(more)

Calle 24 has been a long time coming and is being watched by other cities as a possible model to protect their historical districts as well. Before we had widespread use of variances we didn’t have such a problem, but now that variances are handed out to everyone who asks for one and can afford the process, a new kind of protection is needed.