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Keep San Leandro Hospital open, crowd tells panel

Oakland Tribune, December 22, 2009

In a packed and stuffy boardroom, a procession of speakers vigorously urged the Eden Township Healthcare District's directors to keep San Leandro Hospital open. The crowd overflowed into the lobby of the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District administration building. The hospital is run by Sutter Health, which last summer exercised an option to purchase the hospital from the healthcare district. Sutter, which says the hospital is losing millions every year, plans to turn it over to the Alameda County Medical Center, which wants to close the emergency room and acute care facility and convert the hospital into a rehabilitation facility with an urgent care clinic. In August, when the healthcare district board voted to reject the purchase, Sutter sued the district demanding that it fulfill its contract. An audit is expected to be completed in January, which should clarify the hospital's finances.