Green Valley

Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital as seen from the helipad.

Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital received a $3.5 million grant from the state on Wednesday, enough to get it through the coronavirus outbreak, according to CEO Kelly Adams.

The grant will be paid in three weekly installments starting this week. The hospital will have to repay $100,000 as interest, Adams said.

The grant is the latest boost for the Green Valley hospital, which has also received $6.5 million in advance Medicare payments and $636,000 from the federal CARES Act.

“This is enough to get us through the next several weeks, then we’ll re-evaluate,” Adams said Thursday.

He said the hospital, owned by Lateral Investment Management in California, has applied for two other federal programs and is waiting to hear back. One is the PPP — Paycheck Protection Program — and the other is a loan, he said.

The grant comes with stipulations, including that the hospital must open its books to the state and that it can’t be sold during the contract, which Adams said is three months.

I also stipulates no payments can be made to any private owner, including Lateral, investors, management consultants, shareholders, board members or other consultants.

It also said executives must take a 20 percent pay cut, but they already had take a 30 percent cut, Adams said.

He said Gov. Doug Ducey, Sens. Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema and state Rep. Daniel Hernandez were instrumental in getting the grant delivered quickly.

What’s in the future?

The grant gets the hospital through the next few weeks but doesn’t provide for its longterm future.

But an announcement Wednesday by Ducey could be the good news they were waiting for, Adams said.

Ducey said during a press conference that he will allow hospitals to resume elective surgeries May 1 if they meet certain criteria.

“We’re hoping we can get back on the winning track we were on before COVID19 hit,” Adams said. “We had scores of surgeries just waiting to come into the hospital.”

Longterm, Adams said, “It looks like we’ll be OK now.”

Among the criteria to resume elective surgeries, which is still be hammered out, hospitals must:

• Demonstrate greater than a 14 day supply of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment; 

• Ensure adequate staffing and beds;

• Test patients prior to surgery and all at-risk health care workers;

• Ensure appropriate discharge plans for patients being transferred to nursing care facilities, including diagnostic testing for COVID-19;

• Implement a universal symptom screening process for staff, patients, and visitors; 

• Establish an enhanced cleaning process for waiting areas; 

• And prioritize the restart of elective surgeries based on urgency.