Fung told the Voice Wednesday that he was "honored" to continue serving the hospital district, and that he would make good on his promise to boost the quality of health services available to district residents. While running for re-election, Fung argued that he would be best positioned to lead the hospital through turbulent times, evidenced by the recent bankruptcy of nearby hospitals in the county.
"My number one goal continues to be to improve the health and wellness of the District, and to provide top-tier health care services that residents require and deserve," Fung said in an email.
Ting campaigned on his 40-year career as a doctor, and his understanding of what it takes for El Camino Hospital to foster a strong relationship with independent physicians that he says are key partners in the financial viability of the hospital.
As board members for the El Camino Healthcare District, Fung and Ting will have direct oversight of El Camino Hospital's Mountain View and Los Gatos campuses, including future investments, operations and union negotiations with nurses and other hospital staff. Board members also get to decide how to spend $20 million in taxpayer funds each year, more than $6 million of which is redistributed in the form of community health grants.
Ting told the Voice prior to the election that he plans to also serve on El Camino Hospital's nonprofit corporate board of directors, which is an option for all health care district directors. By taking on the dual role, the hospital's board will maintain its even balance between elected and appointed officials.
Fung said he believes Ting has taken too narrow a focus on brokering favorable contracts with independent physicians, and claims Ting has shown openness to privatization and merging the hospital with other organizations in the past. But with both now winners of the election, Fung said he will convince Ting that the hospital can maintain its "history of independence" through selective partnerships with organizations like Lucile Packard and Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
"I look forward to working with Dr. Ting to orient him on the larger meaning of improving the health of the District, rather than focusing solely on the contracts of the independent physicians," Fung said.
Along with holding the hospital accountable to the residents in the district, which encompasses Mountain View, Los Altos, Sunnyvale and parts of other neighboring cities, the winners of Tuesday's election will help shape the hospital's bid to expand in the southern part of the county. The hospital has recently sought to open a clinic on Winchester Boulevard in San Jose, and in 2016 purchased a large plot of undeveloped land in South San Jose. Hospital officials say there are are no concrete plans for the property yet.
The three candidates who responded to the Voice's election questionnaire — Fung, Kasperzak and Ting — all agreed that scaling up operations is a valuable tool for keeping El Camino alive as an independent hospital, and is in keeping with the district's mission of serving residents in the region.
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