Emily Jo Cureton, The Triplicate

Some local jobs affected, but numbers are unknown

Crescent City's hospital operator will be centralizing administrative services throughout Northern California at a new Roseville location, Sutter Health announced in a press release Wednesday.

The number of impacted employees at Sutter Coast Hospital was not available and as yet no Crescent City-based employees have been offered jobs in Roseville, according to hospital spokeswoman Beth Liles.

"Although staffing will be reduced in certain areas, workforce planning is still under way, and we don't yet have an exact number of jobs that will be affected. We're still working on job designs for each area to determine the number of jobs needed to do the work and the skills and competencies necessary for each job. This week's announcement is about our plans to create the Roseville center. We'll have more information about specific job impacts later this year," Liles said in a Friday email.

The 300,000-square-foot building in Rose-ville will eventually employ more than 1,000 people performing "finance, billing, human resources and other non-patient care functions" for the Sacramento-based operator of 27 hospitals, according to the press release.

"Sutter Health is one of Northern California's largest employers, and we've been a key part of the region's economy and health care delivery system for nearly a century," wrote Sutter Health President and CEO Pat Fry in the release.

As of July, Sutter Coast Hospital employed 370 people, according to its CEO, Eugene Suksi.

Meanwhile, contested plans to centralize the leadership of Sutter Coast Hospital will be the subject of a county court hearing next Wednesday, Oct. 17.

On Oct. 4, "The Sutter Coast Hospital Board - a group of local residents and Sutter executives - at the request of the Medical Staff, (Del Norte County) Board of Supervisors, and (Crescent) City Council, tookanother vote ... on rescinding their prior vote to regionalize our hospital. That motion failed," according to an email newsletter from Dr. Greg Duncan, the hospital's chief of medical staff.

He's led the opposition to a proposed merger whereby Sutter Coast Hospital would be governed by a board of directors in the Bay Area, which would assume decision-making authorities that many area doctors and elected officials contend should remain in local hands.

In his prior email newsletter, Duncan announced that another company has expressed interest in operating the local hospital, "in the event our management arrangement with Sutter Health is not extended."

CEO of Asante Health System Roy Vinyard later confirmed the sentiment.

"As a regional provider of comprehensive healthcare services for 580,000 residents spanning nine counties in Southern Oregon and Northern California, Asante has enjoyed a great relationship with Sutter Coast Hospital for the provision of high quality care. We would welcome discussing any arrangements with Sutter that would ensure that the residents of Del Norte County continue to receive the excellent medical care they deserve," he said in an Oct. 1 email.

Reach Emily Jo Cureton at ecureton@triplicate.com.