TR Robertson — After a summer break, the Vista Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee returned to their monthly first Thursday meeting schedule. The main presenter for this first meeting was Aaron Byzak, Chief Government & External Affairs Officer for Tri-City Medical. Aaron gave a series of updates concerning Tri-City Hospital. He stated that Tri-City had added as their Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Gene Ma. He said the hospital has been receiving a number of awards for their stroke treatment program and they are recognized as one of the top rated heart attack receiving hospitals in the county and they are working on establishing an out-reach program to let people know about the awards and services Tri-City is involved with and has received.
One topic many were interested in was the update Aaron gave concerning the Behavioral Health program that was removed from Tri-City Hospital. He said the loss of the program represented a $34 million loss in services. The controversy surrounded the fact that in the spring of 2018 the Behavioral Health facility was told they were not up to code and they had 60 days to bring the facility up to acceptable standards, including some issues with ADA requirements. As they looked into the problems they discovered it would cost over $7.5 million to fix the issues and take at least 94 weeks, not 60 days. They decided that even though the hospital did not want to suspend the Behavioral Health program, they had not choice and the county was informed the program was suspended. As they continue to investigate and resolve the issues, the hospital discovers there are numerous barriers and hurdles in dealing with Behavioral Health issues. One issue is National problem of a lack of qualified psychiatrists. Aaron pointed out that crisis stabilization units are needed in all cities to handle issues that happened each and every day and he will continue to explore, speak with and contact people who might be able to assist in resolving the issues with this controversial program. He also said that the hospital has until 2030 to prepare Tri-City facilities to meet guidelines for earthquake preparedness, which means there will be continued construction at the hospital.
Each month presentations are made by representatives from different political representatives.
City Update from Kevin Ham – Main Street and surrounding streets will be closed on the 6th of August as a huge crane will be brought in for the Street Lights building construction; the new Honda dealership will hold an open house on August 27th; City Council will be discussing the cannabis delivery issues; there is a new Vista City website which is being updated; on August 13th Sandag will be making a presentation.
Matthew Phy from Senator Patricia Bates’ Office – State offices still on vacation but the Senator is working on the support of the Senate Bill 679 supporting the licensing of family counselors from other states.
Cori Schumacher from Assembly Member Tasha Boerner Horvath’s Office – the Assembly Member recently hosted a seminar on Senior Scam Stoppers and will be bringing this seminar to other North county cities; the Assembly Member has pulled support for AB 1731 dealing with short term vacation rentals; the Assembly Member has set a 25% goal for reducing the number of homeless in her district.
Kyle Krahel-Frolander from Congressman Mike Levin’s Office – A Senior Cram Seminar will be held at Vale Terrace in Vista; the Congressman has been meeting with various people, like Jim Desmond, concerning various issues; the Congressman visited the Yucca Mountain site which is being considered for the San Onfre site for disposal of nuclear waste; the Congressman is supporting the Blue Water navy Vietnam Veterans Act to assist veterans affected by agent orange and working on the Colorado Drought Resiliency Plan.
Shaina Richardson from Supervisor Jim Desmond’s Office – the Board of Supervisors has approved the Fire Authorities Community Risk Reduction Division and fund increases to the County’s CAL Fire contact which will have a number of assistance programs for over 20,000 homeowners; the Supervisor is bringing a Board letter to the Board of Supervisors that will ask the County to find opportunities to reduce time and cost required in processing a permit, Streamlining the Discretionary Permit Process.
The next Government Affairs Meeting will be Thursday September 5th.
Coming up in Vista:
- August 14 – Business Mixer at the Vista Boys & Girls Club
- August 16 – Vista Power Breakfast
- August 28 – Lunch Mob @ Shak’s Mediterranean