Partnerships between hospitals, health systems, and other providers are essential to increasing access to critically important patient care services in communities across California — especially in areas where specialty doctors and services are scarce. These partnerships are even more important to people who live in underserved communities, where these relationships weave together a safety net they rely upon.
A prime example of these valuable partnerships is in Northridge, where Dignity Health and UCLA have had a long-standing partnership to run the only pediatric trauma unit in the San Fernando Valley, treating 700 patients per year. And, in the Central Valley, the Mercy UC Davis Cancer Center at Dignity Health Mercy Medical Center in Merced provides critical cancer care to over 13,000 patients per year.
Across California, hospitals and health systems partner with each other every day to provide and support a public health infrastructure that offers mental health care, substance use disorder treatment, pediatric care, specialty services like cancer care in rural and underserved communities, telemedicine, and more. Through these collaborations, hospitals also are able to provide educational opportunities that ensure the next generation of physicians are exposed to caring for a variety of patients and health conditions. Eliminating these partnerships will only serve to reduce access to life-saving services. Decision-makers must take action to protect these relationships that save lives.