(Sacramento, CA) — The California State Legislature passed Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s (D-Coachella) AB 918, establishing a united Imperial Valley Healthcare District. After months of stakeholder and community engagement, this vital healthcare protection measure will go to Governor Newsom for signature.
“As Imperial County faces an urgent healthcare crisis, this legislative milestone will help keep hospital doors open and protect access to emergency medical care. Creating one united, integrated healthcare system provides a foundation for improved, more sustainable, and expanded health services for residents. The legislation is directly reflective of stakeholder and community feedback. With passage in the State Legislature, we are now one signature away from bringing our community’s vision of a united Imperial Valley Healthcare District to reality,” said Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia.
Senator Steve Padilla (D-San Diego), AB 918 coauthor, said, “This measure is essential to ensure hospitals continue to provide critical medical services to communities that are historically overlooked and underserved. Assemblymember Garcia has been working tirelessly to protect healthcare access for Imperial County residents. I am proud to have partnered with him and greatly appreciate his tireless efforts on this legislation.”
This legislation was introduced at the behest of Imperial Valley leaders who implored Assemblymember Garcia for aid to the imminent hospital crisis. Assemblymember Garcia engaged with regional stakeholders throughout the legislative process, and all amendments directly reflect this feedback.
“Changes made throughout this process demonstrate our diligent efforts to incorporate feedback on local priorities, ensure equitable representation, and safeguard accessibility to local health services,” shared Assemblymember Garcia. “Our efforts were dedicated to getting this right and securing additional avenues of financial relief and resources.”
Recent amendments to include board representation for the different cities and areas in the county resulted from suggestions made by Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District. These changes aim to increase inclusivity and bring underserved areas not currently served by a healthcare district to the table as this new regional system is established.
In August, Assemblymember Garcia announced his success in securing $28 million each for El Centro Regional Medical Center and Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District in zero-interest loans from the Distressed Hospital Loan Program he helped create. These funds may be used to support the Imperial Valley Healthcare District.