Sep 19, 2014
1 comment

Doctors Medical Center is discussing the possibility of selling the hospital property to owners of the casino next door, the Contra Costa Times has learned.

“It is widely believed that the casino would likely pay the highest price for the property, but we need to explore all avenues,” hospital CEO Dawn Gideon wrote in an email obtained by the Times. “In the interim, we are working with the casino on the completion of asbestos and hazardous waste surveys that may impact the sales price.”

The casino, run by the Lytton Tribe, recently paid $4.6 million to lease parking behind the hospital. The tribe told the Times it would not necessarily expand the casino if it purchases the DMC property.

“There are a host of reasons we might want it,” Larry Stidham, the tribe’s general counsel,  told the newspaper. “It doesn’t have to be related to game.”

Gideon says cash-strapped DMC  likely will remain open through the end of the year. The hospital is burdened by an $18 million annual deficit.

The 60-year-old DMC at one point provided about 80 percent of inpatient hospital capacity and nearly 60-percent of emergency-room care to about 250,000 West County residents. But the hospital has cut services due to financial troubles. Many DMC patients are covered by government plans such as MediCare and Medi-Cal that reimburse hospitals at a significantly lower rate than the cost of services.

In May, the hospital’s future was thrown in doubt after Measure C, a parcel tax to address its $18 million annual deficit, failed to garner support from two-thirds of voters.

Since then, workers, nurses and doctors have been leaving DMC in search of stability, according to hospital officials. That, officials added, led to the decision to divert all of DMC’s emergency ambulance traffic to other hospitals, reduce inpatient beds, and close its STEM1 cardiac unit treating heart attack patients.


  1. In my opine , Doctors medical centers needs experienced leadership with national experience to tackle this crisis . In addition it was reported that a stand alone hospital with the payer mix of DMC , isn’t a sustainable model , that should be explained in detail to the public

    The Board of doctors medical center needs to also release the structural and seismic retrofit information. After the Napa earthquake the public will get it . Where would doctors hospital get the rumored to be $ 40 million in emergency funds to make the hospital structurally sound ? If DMC could get the money for a seismic retrofit from the state or federal government would that money be better spent on a new smaller facility as part of county structure ?

    It’s not realistic to ask any one company to contribute $ 400 million over 20 years to cover operational gaps in funding. It a complicated issue , which takes a well thought out solution.
    The board needs to give the public a clear direction were DMC is headed , if it’s a stand alone ER or urgent care facility as part of the county structure , what’s the plan ???

    Richard Poe | Sep 20th, 2014

About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.