Community Bridges Joins Community Leaders to Save Watsonville Community Hospital

Santa Cruz County, CA — Community Bridges Board of Directors approved a $20,000 donation in support of the Pajaro Valley Healthcare District Project’s (PVHDP) effort to purchase the Watsonville Community Hospital and transition it back to a community-ownership model. 

Community Bridges serves the Central Coast communities, many of which would have been left without access to hospital services had PVHDP not stepped in when the Hospital’s previous owners announced an abrupt bankruptcy decision in 2021.  The loss of those services for seniors and young families in our community would have a devastating impact on the overall health and wellness of those living in the Santa Cruz and Monterey County region.  

“We are fortunate to have focused on improved organizational efficiencies and good investments to build our reserves over the last few years,” said Raymon Cancino, Community Bridges’ CEO. “Those reserves made it possible for us to support this effort and to ensure we invested in our core mission of health and wellness for our local communities. We felt it was really important to express and invest in our values, and remain focused on improving equitable access to healthcare. This community hospital is regionally needed for ongoing health and emergency care and we cannot afford to lose it.” 

Watsonville Community Hospital filed for bankruptcy protection on December 6, 2021. Following that decision, State Senators John Laird and Anna Caballeros, as well as Assemblymembers Robert Rivas and Mark Stone took legislative action that resulted in the creation of a healthcare district for the Pajaro Valley. In February, the bankruptcy judge entered an order approving the sale of the hospital to PVHDP, which has until the end of August to finalize the acquisition of the hospital and its assets. 

The PVHDP mission is to “ensure the communities [they] serve have the high quality and sustainable healthcare services they need by placing local healthcare resources in the hands of the people.” 

“We want to thank Community Bridges for their generous support to help save Watsonville Community Hospital,” said PVHDP Board Chair Mimi Hall. “It is paramount that the Pajaro Valley Community has access to quality health care and we believe the best way to reach this goal is to return Watsonville Community Hospital to non-profit public ownership to make sure it is run by the community for the community.” 

About Pajaro Valley Healthcare District Project 

This not-for-profit 501(c)(3) was created to advocate for community-led healthcare services by forming a health care district and purchasing Watsonville Community Hospital to transition it to community ownership and governance. 

Pajaro Valley Healthcare District Project’s mission is “to ensure the communities we serve have the high quality and sustainable healthcare services they need by placing local healthcare resources in the hands of the people.” 

PVHDP Board of Directors includes leadership representing Santa Cruz County, the City of Watsonville, Community Health Trust of Pajaro Valley, and Salud Para La Gente. 

 ABOUT COMMUNITY BRIDGES  

Community Bridges envisions a thriving community where every person has the opportunity to unleash their full potential. Together, our family of programs delivers essential services, provides equitable access to resources, and advocates for health and dignity across every stage of life. To learn more, please visit www.communitybridges.org.  

The Community Bridges family of programs includes the Child & Adult Care Food Program, Early Education Division, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), La Manzana Community Resources, Live Oak Community Resources, Mountain Community Resources, Nueva Vista Community Resources, Elderday Adult Day Health Care, Lift Line and Meals on Wheels for Santa Cruz County.  

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